The story of Christmas 1944 was started on D-Day — June 6th, 1944. With the invasion at Normandy everyone then knew for sure that Christmas of that year would certainly be different.
That same argument could somewhat be made for Christmas 1943 or Christmas 1942. Those war years of Christmas were full of uncertainty and separation as well. But the invasion made everything that Christmas of 1944 quite different.
It was dangerous. Loved ones were not only away from home they were in harm’s way. Months at a time would go by without a letter. Exact locations were unknown.
No one knew not when their loved ones were coming home — they didn’t know IF they were coming home.
That made Christmas 1944 different from any other Christmas of the war.
There were other wars and other missed Christmases. But Christmas 1944 represented a world at war in unprecedented conflicted. It touched nearly every life on earth.
It would be an epic year that changed lives of millions and generations. And there are a million stories of that year and that Christmas.
To get a feel of what the times were like we present a special episode of the Merry Podcast, featuring news, music and a look at culture of the time:
It is important to note that Christmas 1944 marks a turning point in the timeline of Christmas celebration.
As the war began to subside in 1945 the celebration of Christmas went to all new levels.
Pop culture exploded with Christmas celebration in the years thereafter. From 1945 to 1959 the most iconic classic Christmas songs ever were written — The Christmas Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Silver Bells, Let it Snow and Winter Wonderland were all post-war musical hits.
It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife and Miracle on 34th Street were big post-war movies with Christmas themes.
Christmas was the central theme of missing home and family during the war and the cause of tremendous celebration AFTER the war.
As we remember the events of June 6th 1944 let us also mark the celebration of Christmas that followed that fateful year.