Xmas, Base Hospital #88 Langres France
Yes it is Christmas Day and Ive just got through eating a real Christmas Dinner. While the boys are talking singing and making the day as pleasant as possible I thought Id spend a few minutes back home there with you in this way if I cant be present. It is a very pleasant day here, although the sun is not shining and it is pretty chilly. I say pleasant for I consider it such as long as it does not rain. Up until this morning it has rained steady for over a week and I don’t remember how long it has been since I saw the sun for a longer period than one hour.
I can truthfully say that I am enjoying this Christmas very much considering the fact that it is the second one spent in France and that I expected it would be spent at home as much as a month ago. Yesterday three other fellows and myself went to town and here is how the Eve was spent. First I bought some very pretty pillow cases as presents for you and Lena. I don’t know whether to take a chance and send them home or take them with me when I go, for there has been a lot of stuff sent home by the boys that never reached there. You will like them I know when you see them.
Anyway, after getting said souviners we had a beefsteak and French fried potatoes feed with what goes with it of coarse. Tried to have my picture taken but learned that they wouldn’t be ready for at least ten days, and as we expect to leave shortly I gave up this idea. It was raining very hard and to get out of the rain we went into one of those places where you sit down and call for more. Must say that we enjoyed ourselves until closing time which is eight oclock and then started home. Everybody was happy (or appeared to be so), but it was that make the best of it spirit that was very much in evidence.
On getting back we found that the Red Cross had left each one a bag containing hankercheif, cigarettes, candy, nuts, stockings etc. The Y.M.C.A. left a box containing tobacco, cigarettes, candy, cookies etc. It was late before we turned in and the climax of my time came when one of the boys who went over to where the company is, came in and handed me the Christmas cards from you and Lena, Bert and dear old Dad. Also your letter of Nov. 26th. They could not have been received at a more opertune time. Of coarse they made me feel all the more thoughtful of home and you folks, and right there I promised that I would give over these few minutes by writing a letter today.
This morning a few of us took a walk which produced quite an appetite, and on returning which was none too soon this is what we sat down to. Turkey, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, fruit perserves apple pie and cheese, salad, bread and butter and cocoa. Some dinner beleive me and I sure did do my duty. Ive got the pipe steaming good now, a good place to write and tell you about it which makes this old Christmas far from a tough one, for me.
Im wondering now if you folks are enjoying yourselves. Your letter of Nov. 26 assures me and right here I will answer it. The clipping about Granmie was very interesting to me and it was appreciated. Ninety three is a good old age and if I knew her address (it does not say in the clipping) Id send her a few lines. I think Ill write any way and address it N. Manchester.
Glad to hear that the furnace is going and that everything is O.K. As for our General Edwards. He is liked by every man in the division and we all know that he will do what he can for us. Im glad that the crisis is over and that Madge and the rest are well. Im still here at Base 88 only waiting to be sent to the company. Feeling great. The President is due in this visinity some time this afternoon and he is to give the 26th the once over.
Forgot to say that with you letters and Christmas Cards there was a box of tobacco and this pipe I am smoking. The outside wrapper was not on it nor anything to let me know from who or whence it came. I wish I knew so that I could write and acknowlege it but you see Im out of luck.
Well Em and the rest, by this letter you will see that this second Christmas in France is being spent a great deal better than it might be. Far from what it would be if the war was still on. It is a very Happy Christmas for me and I hope that it is with you. Ive said very little about the war for at that time the censor was rigid but when I get home (which is soon now I think) I will have a lot to say.
Regards to all
Samuel E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf.
© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.