Christmas After Katrina

Alfred Davis holds his four month old daughter Alachae Davis during services at the First Emmanuel Baptist Church on Christmas day in New Orleans Sunday, December 25, 2005. It was the first service for the Church since it was damaged byHurricane Katrina.
From 285-year-old St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter to St. Stephens Baptist church uptown, New Orleanians came together Sunday in prayer and celebration, CBS News Correspondent Trish Regan reports.

Many residents have been scattered throughout the country, living in Texas, Georgia and Arkansas. But they were here today.

"One tradition that stands from the oldest to the youngest is you're home for Christmas. Home is New Orleans, said Kelly Drake.

Ethel Coleman couldn't be home for Christmas – her house is gone.

So this year, her family started a new tradition, coming in from across the country to gather at her youngest daughter's house in New Orleans.

"This is the only thing we really know is to be together for Christmas," she said.

Donna Boettner is a fifth-generation resident of the city whose home in the Lakeview section was ruined by Katrina.

"Last Christmas will probably be remembered as the last one before Katrina," she said. "This Christmas is the Christmas after Katrina and I think both will have kind of special memories."

Boettner and her family celebrated Christmas on Sunday, but, she said, "It's not at my house. But we are coming together in spite of it. There will be six of my children. One of the great grandchildren will be there. This year I just had the feeling that we needed to be here, just to show ourselves that you can't whip us. We're strong. All that's really changing is the physical things. The people aren't changing. Their feelings for each other aren't changing."

Boettner will be moving to Birmingham in February.

"People say I can't believe you are leaving New Orleans. But I say my body may be leaving but my heart isn't leaving," she says. "It just won't ever."

"Wherever we are together it's going to be home, for that time, for that blessed moment. I don't know. Maybe next Christmas they will all come to Birmingham. And wouldn't that be great?"