December 25, 1941
Thurs. 7 P.M. Dec. 25, 1941
Dear Mom & Dad:
It’s Christmas day in Fort Bragg. They’ve treated us all pretty swell here in camp today & last night, but yet, nothing could quite take the place of a Xmas at home. All last nite I kept referring to my watch & trying to guess what you folks would all be doing at that time. At 8:00 bells (9:00 here) I could just see the men putting aside the cards to make way for Santa & everybody else filing on upstairs. Did I hit it on the nose? S’pose you punished the prize turkey too.
Thanx a lot for the way you remembered me this Xmas. The stationary & the stamps I can really make good use of. And the Fanny Farmers – well it goes without saying that I appreciate them – the upper layer is gone already. I feel & look just like a chocolate. The negative file was a swell idea. As yet I haven’t taken so very many pictures, mainly because I can’t find a decent place to have them printed. But last Sat. when I was in Fayatteville doing some shopping I walked onto a revelation. The U.S.O. club there offers a darkroom & free use of their chemicals & equipment for any soldier who cares to avail himself of the opportunity. So I’m just that guy – all I have to pay for is the paper. Maybe now I’ll start filling out that file. Thanks again.
I got some other fine gifts too. A very well chosen book from Elaine & Virgy. It’s just the type I like to read – a collection of the best reading by Clifton Fadiman. Also included with the book was, to my happy surprise, a couple of bucks from Esther & Elmer. How did they know that that was just what I needed? Today I received a package of assorted meats from Dot & Arlo. Looks as if the boys & I are going to have a little party on of these nights; they bring the bread. Oh yah & I got a fruit cake from – guess who – Mr. & Mrs. Olav M. Coll. Wasn’t that thoughtful of them? Boy, am I going to get fat with all of this cake & meat & candy around – or sick maybe. Hope it’s the former.
About our Christmas here at Bragg: last night we had a community (carol) sing on our outdoor stage in back of the Service Club. The F.A.R.C. band played & we all sang Christmas carols from 9P.M. ‘till 10P.M. then we went inside the Service C. & had a little party – a program, popcorn & all kinds of fruit to eat & more singing. At about 11 o’clock we strolled up the battery street & into the barracks to bed. We stood our sox in the corner, but no luck. Guess Santa doesn’t get down this far.
This noon we had our big meal & was it a dilly. We had turkey & all the trimmings & four different kinds of pie. On each table were piles of fruit, nuts, candy & fruit cake, & each of us got a package of cigarettes, any brand he chose. They gave me your telegram just before I sat down to eat, so I naturally enjoyed the meal all the more then – thanks for that, too. I wish you could see how beautifully our mess hall is decorated. It is the prettiest in the whole regiment by far – quoting the Colonel. At one end starts a large tree (lit up) – at the other end is a big Merry Christmas sign – strung back & forth are red paper ropes laden with tinsel. In fact all the walls & lights & ceiling are covered with decorations. Even the windows are hung with wreaths, & each pane banked with cotton to imitate snow. All afternoon we have had open house in the mess-hall – we could stroll in at any time to snack on some turkey or anything else we might crave. I dropped in there about 4:00 P.M. & casually wrapped myself around a couple of pieces of mince pie & a turkey or two. I’ve got my foot-locker stacked with fruit to last me the duration.
Cpl. Walter, one of my buddies here, got a plum pudding from his mother. He had one of the cooks heat it up for him & then gave us all a taste. I liked it – tasted just like warm fruit cake – only better. Everyone around here has some kind of eats to offer you now – cookies, candy, cake, nuts & fruit. The only thing that doesn’t add anything to the spirit of the day is the weather. Snow wouldn’t last here for more than one second because it’s just like summer. Today the sun was just a blazin away & the temperature must have been about 65° with no exaggeration. We were strolling around the area today in just our shirt sleeves. I’ll bet you can’t say the same. You lucky Minnesotans.
Don’t know just exactly what we’ll be doing this New Year’s eve, but I know we’ll be going to some nearby town to celebrate. It would be kind of dull here in camp, don’t you think? Besides there just aren’t any girls around here to kiss at midnight. It’s going to be hard to come even close to the good times our Kins club has had for the last three years.
I think I’m going to swing a furlough for about 10 days around my birthday – or shortly thereafter. You see we are allowed 2 ½ days a month & I now have 5 ½ days coming to me. I’ll need about 10 to make a long enough furlough & I’ll have that coming by Febuary February (almost forgot that first r). Hope I can swing it.
Now I must close & go down to the cafeteria for a bottle of milk. (Don’t feel a bit hungry after that scrumptious meal). So adios for awhile & may you both have the very happiest of New Years.
P.S. Hope Santa was good to you.