C is for Christmas #AtoZChallenge
The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 posts, one for each letter of the English alphabet, in April. Most of us choose to make these posts on a particular theme. My theme for 2023 is 1943 Washington D.C., the setting of the novel that I’m writing. Visit daily in April for a new post on my topic.
C is for Christmas
The third Christmas of World War II saw a lot of effort go into making sure that any troops who passed through Washington D.C. were given warm experiences of the season. Attempts to make a festive season at home were hampered by shortages of turkey and Christmas ornaments. The hope on everyone’s lips was that the war would be over before Christmas 1944.
Government workers, like the characters in my novel about women codebreakers in World War II, worked six days a week. Christmas Day was their only official holiday in 1943. Christmas fell on Saturday in 1943, so they got a rare Saturday off of work, making a two-day weekend.
Here are some activities that were reported in the Washington Post during the Christmas season of 1943.
- Christmas carols were sung by volunteer groups from the USO, the YWCA, and churches to greet soldiers arriving and departing by train at Union Station.
- Decorations for the National Christmas Tree, on the southeast lawn of the White House, were donated by community members with small white tags dedicating each ornament to a service member.
- Local organizations prepared stockings for hospitalized soldiers and made visits on Christmas Day.
- Workers were asked to donate to the annual Christmas Seals campaign to fight tuberculosis.
- The centennial of the publication of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was celebrated with the eighth annual radio dramatization featuring Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge.
That tree decorator looks so serious!
Christmas for people in the armed forces is often a difficult time, even when the country is not at war. When I was young, I had a long term relationship with a man who was in the army. In six years, we saw each other at Christmas only one time. It was tough. (We didn’t see each other on any other holidays at all. But somehow at Christmas… That was when it really hit home.)
I like the idea of the tags on the Christmas ornaments… Also, one day weekends, yikes!
The Multicolored Diary
Interesting what people did to help things feel better for a while.
Ronel visiting for C:
My Languishing TBR: C
Cannibalistic Fae: Ogres