Magazine article America in WWII

Christmas in Other Keys

Magazine article America in WWII

Christmas in Other Keys

Article excerpt

Let me say it right up front: Together with my wife, Heidi (our CEO and circulation/ marketing director); our managing editor and website editor, Carl; and our art director, Jeff, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season!

It's hard not to feel a little strange writing holiday greetings in mid-September, which is when we had to prepare this issue so it could reach you at the right time. But it can't feel much stranger than Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas must have felt for GIs serving in places where the treasured foods, decorations, songs, and even weather of the season were nowhere to be found.

As a military brat--the son of a WWII 9th Army Air Force vet who made a career in the Cold War-era US Air Force--I got to see Christmas in Spain when I was between 6 and 9 years old. Everything was different, except the central meaning of the feast. For me, the highlight of the season was the visit of a tuna--not the fish, but a roving band of beribboned, white-collared-and-black-robed college-boy musicians, who came singing unfamiliar but zesty carols accompanied by guitars, mandolins, and tambourines. I also enjoyed putting my shoes out for los Tres Reyes, the Three Kings, on the night of January 5; children find gifts in their shoes the next morning.

Later, as a college student, I spent a Christmas in a village outside Rome, where the cool night air was split by the droning and squealing of zampogne, Italian bagpipes, even at the Midnight Mass. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.