This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
A girl and her mother talk about Santa and the Christmas spirit.
A roll-call of Christmas-celebrating lands: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria.
Three additional countries that celebrate Christmas, "where hidden from the storm troops greed-eyed this holiday is kept": Italy, Spain, Germany.
Two Americans, a Christian and a Jew, watch a group of Italian refugees praying at Christmastime.
"Peace is on the earth 'midst screaming guns and battles' hollow crash."
The girl from the opening is allowed to light the Christmas tree.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 43539
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
The F. Thank you Ed Thank goodness thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. The spin of the peace on earth goodwill towards men Bligh's low on the land tonight the Earth is at rest now its human millions quiets with the quiet of the forest gentle with a touch of new fallen snow far above the stars shine on as they have done for countless minutes days centuries another Christmas Day has come and now has almost gone the word of Christ is passed amongst the pond and understood his touches on the restless brow of unknown man his feet is on the still still. Thank you thank. You. They eat the. Load a week. Under the sweet dark green of numberless homes shelter trees a crackling paper wrappers lives of their treasured gifts and sparkling stars and fairy bells gleam from their nests mirroring the one forgotten peppermint stick that hangs for lonely from the top most. The soft haired young Its is asleep the fire fills the chimney with contented rolling smoke the shiny pipe lies crossed with neat brown leather slips or any old gifts or any of. The. This day is somehow the age when young and old and for all time the hope it lies in memory before it has passed before it as ever begun and next year and early years to come will be the same or so we would like to believe. What is this sameness then what is this day that does not change the but is the spirit of the season. This may be. The only. Life you know down to my hand maybe we'll get lost my I'D NEVER seen such a crowd let me could I go on the merry man again can I twice is enough for one day remember you haven't picked out daddy's present yet you have to hurry. When you want to do all those things go on the merry go round and visit Santa Claus don't you think we might be was the man's way or department third floor Westville banks what do you feel they think that it was real I don't know He's real in some ways now come on let's hurry we'll never get out of here oh I'm so sorry. Please us all this crowd. What is it dear the answer to anything I ask you. Said to really give me what I want for Christmas well that depends on what you want Santa has so many people to take care of I just hope he doesn't get the fish for you but my hair anything well that's a novel Christmas spirit but ever heard of one. Lady. Are you scared the life out of it you get a pulse to grit well above the places to meet somebody you almost finished shopping maybe we can lunch together I haven't seen you in a while I don't know Mary's kind of tired old well I bet she doesn't remember me do you Mayor Oh no let me let my daddy did you take it as he said I certainly did what do you think is that to you a letter for a job with real caring delegates and what a way to put a little like that to do anything about that this here let's get along with this my loves. The edge. If you listen carefully to a Christmas Shopping Town if you listen very hard and very close you can hear the great hall of silence hovering over the laughter over and under it runs its quiet presence ever joining with the silence of the world for all Earth's sounds have gently colored silent overtones and the quiet of Christmas over whose rushes to shape the noise and to click lock. And if you listen very hard and close you can hear the echoes of our homes broken laughter flashing back and forth across the sea as fast as light and crowds assemble on this Christmas Day and all the ancient lands throughout the universe shall we call the roll of Christmas celebrating Landis' some three thousand miles away from the pot with stores and padded Santa Clauses one to each widespread floor of shiny. Little. Sparkling Vienna and a little ting carefree waltzes Oh. Well anything. I. Think is the rolling farmland clever toys the play the part of it and the amo. All. That history of Titian the atrocities. And the death thing use of shell clan hypnotizing I am drinking it. Oh oh oh. Oh. Oh Francis with the fronds graceful friends most civilized of all. Los. Lobos. Great stocks of London and the border issue but just for the dollar is of German Bush. Oh. How many swift ice boats on the side as eat wooden shoes windmills ready cheeks and yet more ready to let us. Eat. The Iowas of grease the wheels of the police we're burning software love them something. I. Eat. Then my. Way. Then my operatives winter sports nobody. And melancholy is a belief. Oh. Yeah. You go Slavia Romania and you're a I'm very. Happy you know to lose the sea of shimmering wreath. Dances and girls umbilically Bright died skirts the paradox of mixing smells of war wanted oil and rich spiced cookie. They're always ended not yet we've left out free where still the people keep this holy day where hidden from the storm troops greedy eye this holiday escape call the names I don't like half liberated but half return to the dreams of Michelangelo magic fingered in the lush touch of Titian the memory of Mazzini Galileo got a Bally stirs strong against Spain the scented ribbon of a dark eyed maiden pinned to the Toreador his breast the bloody Inquisition and the gentle humor of Don Quixote the peasants wait their time and keep this Christmas Day. The Las. The to a. Shining with still some fears of hangman's noose and torture chamber the few there are who celebrate this day the few who think of peace on earth and all the rest OK people live the sparkling glorious good king shilling for ye. The towers the first day of the Savior the numbers were crushed and beaten and wait to be saved with half a hope with half a prayer. The silent overtone speed out and find their echoes sick. They would have thought I'd ever be sing in a sing like this you know the No you never know I can I made straight out of a town annihilated stand here watchin a thousand people pray. Don't make sands not even a church not our roof not. Just a lot of people School happen pressure both of Christ. I don't make science a Polish fuel from Brooklyn when I was a kid going to Hebrew school the rabbi used to talk about the wonders of the earth and how they always prayed through their prayers could cease their wondering it was an old man my rabbi the thing bit character of themselves and they were the worshippers of another God and yet I suppose the same wonders refugees you know I never know a crowd could be suspect you know. It's almost as if they're I think yes perhaps black cats my friend not the sound of hears. Christmas in Italy I wonder is this day real and are the things back home the same can they be still untouched back there when all these hundreds lived from day to day and hope to not hope but still find time and place for pretty strange sight playing fox live in and I'm not depressed and a strange prayer coming from this mass of my cold brain hears me it wants idea but I understand. More money than you are on even that way the spirit of this day sings through the morning of these refugees the world makes the sign of the Cross tonight and I Bernstein the jewel echo it. Was. The silent overtone the spirit out and find their echoes in Adelaide to doughboys Neil with unnumbered citizens of the world this night and think and feel him play. Four pieces on the earth midst screaming guns and battles hollow crush in a way we can. Eat a bowl. Game. Eat Eat. Take some alive since in many spots throughout this land the first Twilight of the night touched them fingers to the tram been waiting evergreens the many colored candles hung in bright anticipation as if there were some spirit that let them know what wondrous ceremony was to question them. It stack it have already his name on his name no I think we'd better wait a while he lighted before it's good and dark it was boil of facts right there I might respond I know now only I guess she's safe enough for one but if she should check the tree I was so careful I want to think that the China Lake freeze let me say it's all right right you'll like the first but be careful Terry do you think it's dark enough rain Well I think so all. Start with this one you like to match. It oh. You'll get. That it's led. To the pitching now to get it and let me show you what my hands are trimmed was strong excitement got in I'm just worried it's silly to risk a fire just for having and tree will let them burn for just a little while first most with a Christmas without an old fashioned free with all the trimmings electric lights would have been safe but not nearly as. Well as finish Come on honey let's have a smile I'm not going to burn your house down I would like. Rain what can the I can do to live. Also. Useful almost eternal life. The chandeliers. And. The reflection on the window pane nickering clinician Christmassy. You know you see used to be present for us and it's getting pretty crazy. Way A In a way a.