It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go;
There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart!
The wartime Christmas years introduced classic Christmas songs to the culture. The song White Christmas first debuted in 1942 in the Movie Holiday Inn. Sung by Bing Crosby it became an instant hit as its peaceful feeling hit home with both those on the home front and those on the battle front. Another Christmas standard I’ll Be Home for Christmas made its debut in 1943. The words touched the hearts of separated loved ones as the song speaks of yearning to be home at Christmas even “if only in my dreams.”
My parents were married in 1942, and soon afterwards my dad was drafted into the Army. Following that he was coincidentally ordered to leave for basic training the day I was born, October 17, 1942. Because mom wanted dad to be able to spend a little time with me before he was sent over seas, she and I traveled by train from California to Florida when I was six weeks old. Then, when he was moved to Mississippi for his training as a medic, she and I followed him again and remained there until he departed for North Africa. After Dad shipped out, she and I left Mississippi, and as she was pregnant with my middle sister, she decided we would stay with family in Texas until Kathleen was born in December of 1943. Thinking about it now I believe Dad must have missed two Christmases with us before he was wounded and sent back home in 1945. As a young girl I remember hearing these two songs on the radio every Christmas and eventually came to know how much “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” meant to my parents. Perhaps that’s why I never hear it without tears of remembrance wetting my cheeks.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David…” ~Luke 1:68-69 ✝