View Full Version : Wartime Christmases

Gary D.
12-22-2009, 09:37 AM
I was born January 7, 1939, some months before the Führer moved into Poland to ‘protect’ that unfortunate country. I am wondering if any of you are old enough to remember wartime Christmases?

I’m sure they were sparse indeed in the U.K., where they felt rationing much more than we did. Christmas, except for the religious (the most important, really) aspect, was probably nonexistent in the Reich. I've seen pictures of Christmas trees festooned with swastikas rather than angels.

Even though I was going on six in 1944, I don’t recall any Christmas before that. My mother had an account with Sears Roebuck & Co., so she just wrote in, giving my age and asking for whatever they could send. I can’t recall any specific toys except cut-out cardboard automobiles, which I recall playing with more than anything. They probably lasted as long as my other stuff, even considering they were quite fragile.

The next year, in the U.S., anyway, rationing was over and I really cleaned up. This was the last year I believed in Santa Claus, and, to this day, I remember that morning of running into the living room, to see my loot spread out under the tree. Santa had just left, and I had once again missed him.
Some years ago we broke the last wartime Christmas ornament—glass bulb with a few red and blue stripes encasing it and cardboard holder. It would probably be worth something on EBay.

We never did have a set of those bubble lights, however, which was the big thing during this time. My mother always thought they didn’t look ‘safe.’ Turns out, as is often the case, Mother was right—and they were banned.

I recall my favorite wartime Christmas song--at least I think it came out during the war--I'll Be Home For Christmas [if only in my dreams]. Maybe it was Bing Crosby's. Even though I wondered how they put presents on the tree--not under it. Recently I heard the winner of that [awful] American Idol singing/mangling it (she's a local Glendale, Arizona 'talent'). The way she sang it, it was so lethargic that she sounded like she didn't give a damn whether she made it home for Christmas or not. I kind of wish they'd quit screwing around with these songs--just my opinion, of course.