For years I have been fascinated by Christmas celebration during wartime, especially British observances during the First and Second World Wars. How do you make merry — should you? — when your lives and civilization are in peril? Keeps things in perspective, I think, now that Christmas has earned excessive and vulgar lows, or (as I suspect this year) lugubrious cries from those who can’t keep up with 2007. Again, the trampled Walmart worker comes to mind.
This 1942 clip comes from the Crown Film Unit, in time for the first post-Blitz Christmas: a time of “holly and barbed wire.” The childhood militarism shown is understandable given “England [was] fighting for her life”. Left me with a lump in my throat. A good corrective.
From the British Film Institute, “Christmas Under Fire”