978-0-385-33463-1 / 038533463X

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About the book:

In December 1943, Jill Oppenheim wrote to her husband, Alfred de Grazia, who was serving in the 5th Army overseas:

...I am cheerless in the exact proportions to which Bob Hope et al were full of holiday mirth. There is a peculiar psychology in missing someone you love--the pain becomes greatest during the times you deviate from the ordinary, & to most people, distasteful, routine of living--the Sundays, the feast days, the idle moments just before you go to bed.
For thousands of soldiers and their families, the Decembers during World War II were especially trying times. Far away from friends and family, the men and women serving overseas made do as best they could to celebrate, some decorating trees with C-ration cans or surgical gloves, some making up gifts for local children, and all hoping for packages from home. Those on the home front made do as well, dealing with travel restrictions and rationing--or, worse, the loss of friends and family. I'll Be Home for Christmas is a bittersweet look at how the holiday was celebrated during the dark Decembers of World War II. Taken from the archives of the Library of Congress, stories, correspondence, illustrations, diary excerpts, and photographs provide poignant glimpses of how America survived the war years. Even Grinches and Scrooges will be touched by a Christmas letter to his mother from Emit F. Logan, imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp; or a little boy's gift to thrice-wounded marine Edward Andrusko; or pictures of GIs in foxholes, grinning as they open their Christmas packages. A wonderful celebration of The Greatest Generation's spirit--and a wonderful look at an oft-forgotten side of World War II. --Sunny Delaney

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