Many town residents attended Christmas Eve services Monday evening and spent the morning at home with their families. Others attended church services in search of a new beginning.
At St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, which eight of the child victims of the massacre attended, the pastor told parishioners that "today is the day we begin everything all over again."
Recalling the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, the Rev. Robert Weiss said: "The moment the first responder broke through the doors we knew good always overcomes evil."
"We know Christmas in a way we never ever thought we would know it," he said. "We need a little Christmas and we've been given it."
Police have yet to offer a theory about a possible motive for gunman Adam Lanza's rampage on Dec. 14. The 20-year-old Newtown man, who lived at home, killed his mother in her bed before carrying out the massacre at the elementary school, then killing himself.
Most businesses were closed for the holiday and the heavy traffic near memorials that has been ever present since the shootings largely disappeared for the day. Still, a steady stream of out-of-state vehicles passed by, with many passengers taking pictures of the memorials from their cars. Some stopped to get out and contribute to them.
Philadelphia resident Ed Sison brought his wife and 9-year-old son to Newtown on Tuesday while they were on their way to see family in Massachusetts. They decorated memorial trees with ornaments and beads, among other things.
"It's an event that just touches us all. We have a young son and you know we all feel the pain," he said.
Associated Press writer Debbi Morello contributed to this report.