The season’s joy overshadowed
by the war just begun.
The Great Depression years finally behind them, the entire Coleman family of Pittsburgh has been looking forward to this Christmas for almost the entire year. For the first time in more than a decade, Gerald and Irene Coleman have tucked away enough extra money to make up for all the lean years of disappointingly modest Christmas gifts for their children. But December 7, 1941 has changed everything, and for the past two weeks the entire family has followed with despair the Japanese advances all over the Pacific as well as America finally being dragged into the two-year old European war. Though a few glimmers of hope can be found amidst the ominous war news, both parents fear not only for the country’s fate as this new war begins but also, more personally, for the fate of their sons who will likely soon be joining the fighting in one war theater or another.
Still, despite the sense of dread hanging over almost every aspect of the family’s daily affairs, Irene Coleman is determined that if indeed this will be the last Christmas that the family spends together––at least until after the war, or perhaps even forever––then she will do everything in her power to make Christmas, 1941, the first Christmas of the war, a happy one for her children and her entire family.
Come spend the week leading up to Christmas, 1941 with the Coleman family including:
Jonathan––The eldest son at nineteen, Jonathan fatalistically realizes the inevitability of his military days arriving very soon, whether he succumbs to the pressure to enlist or if he waits until he is drafted. But Jonathan has other problems on his mind as well. His long-time girlfriend Francine Donner, whom only days from now he plans to ask to marry him, broke a date with him this past weekend to go out with one of Jonathan’s best friends from high school (and one of her own former boyfriends), because he is headed off to boot camp right after Christmas. Jonathan has ominous feelings about this turn of events...and he’s right.
Charlene––The third child in the family and the oldest daughter, Charlene has just become secretly engaged at the age of sixteen to her boyfriend who is soon headed to boot camp. She shares the news of her engagement with her cousin Lorraine Walker, but Lorraine quickly breaks her promise to keep the news secret. When Irene Coleman learns of her daughter’s engagement and the circumstances surrounding it, she has yet another problem to confront.
Irene––In many ways, the backbone of the family...the classical 1930s-1940s matriarch who runs her household her way, no questions asked. Like her husband, Irene is mortified by the ominous war news and does her best to occupy the hours of her day with an endless string of tasks and chores, trying to keep her mind off her own fears for her sons’ safety.
…and the others in the Coleman family.
December 20-26, 1941:
The First Christmas of the War
Great idea, RJD - thank you so much for starting this thread!
I thought there was already one.
Well, there may be but I was too busy applying tin foil to and twisting the rabbit ears antenna on my 13 inch black and white Philco TV set to get better reception of my soap operas to look for a similar thread.
I have read some great titles and will have to look back at my Nook and Kindle apps, but I recommend as well, the free books. They are great. I also belong to a couple different book clubs through emails - if anyone wants to know about them, just let me know. I get free books and cheap books all the time with that.
Also - the next book I am going to read is: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham - it's the novel that Christmas With the Kranks is based on. I love the movie!
__________________ The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis
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