Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas Quotes: A Pacific WWII Christmas

Today is the kick off for this year's Virtual Advent Tour. I really can't wait to see what everyone comes up with this year! It is always so amazing to me seeing what everyone chooses to share. Like last year, I have been saving some Christmassy quotes from the books I have read during the year and today I bring the first of the Christmas quotes for this year. I don't have one for every day, but there will be at least 3 or 4 each week until we reach the big day!

I think that the quotes this year reflect the way that my reading changed this year - lot of Australian quotes to be shared and even though I didn't deliberately choose to read a lot of WWII books, I seem to have a few of those quotes too. Today though, I am starting with a quote from The Bungalow by Sarah Jio.

from pages 121-

I couldn't stay in on Christmas Eve thinking about Papa and Maxine roasting chestnuts together back at home. I shook my head, and mde my way down Someone in a room upstairs must have found a radio, and even rarer, a signal out across the great blue ocean that carried the sweet, beautiful, pure sound of "O Holy Night" sung by Bing Crosby. My knees weakened as I listened to the song drifting over the airwaves like a warm breeze, comforting me, reminding me of Christmases in Seattle. With cider, Carolers. An enormous fir tree in the entryway. Papa smoking by the fire. Mother fussing about wrapping gifts. Maxine's sweets, though I didn't have the taste for them now. And Gerard, of course. I couldn't forget Gerard.

"Makes you sentimental, doesn't it?"

I turned around upon hearing Stella's voice behind me. "Yes," I said. If only she knew.

Her face appeared softer in the dim light of the entryway. Has the island changed her? "It hardly feels right," she continued. "No snow. Not even a tree. For the first time, I'm homesick. Really homesick." "Me too," I said, locking my arm in hers. we stood there listening until the song ended and the radio frequency become garbled - the moment lost forever, swallowed up by the lonely Pacific.

and then from 123

As we walked outside, the radio's signal regrouped and began transmitting a weak version of "Silent Night" sung in a foreign language I didn't recognize. It sounded strange and lost, which was exactly how I felt.

Once inside the little chapel adjacent to the mess hall I let out a gasp. "Where on earth did they get a tree?" I eyed the fir standing to attention near the piano. "A Douglas fir, in the tropics?" Mary grinned, "It was our big secret," she said. "The Social Committee has been planning it for months. One of the pilots brought it over with the supplies last week. Nobody thought of decorations so we had to get creative. The men deserve a tree on Christmas." The choir began warming up to our left, as I looked at the fir tree, adorned with tinsel - handmade from finely cut tin foil - and read apples on each bow. Some of the women must have loaned out their hair ribbons, as there were at least two dozen white satin bows from top to bottom.

"It's beautiful," I said, blinking back a tear.


  1. I enjoyed Sara Jio's The Violets of March, and I need to get going on this one! Thanks for the quotes.

    1. I haven't read Violets of March yet. I have it here. Maybe next week!