Christmas Day, 1945.

Dear Matt,

Well I hope I am forgiven in the spirit of Christmas, for waiting this long to write to my favorite brother. Believe me, when I say that I find it hard to get a single minute to get off a letter or maybe you know what it's like to be busy, too! Whatever the case is, whether I'm giving the bad example; it's a family trait, or we're both terribly busy, it's been a long, long time. The worst part is that I've been busy at school, and doing ordinary things, not having a gay whirlwind time in the social world. However, I can't complain because I'm having a holiday of some sorts this week; I'm going to be able to go to the Senior Ball this Saturday, with someone who isn't my cousin or somebody's brother, namely John Murphy who arrived last Thursday in Brooklyn. In addition to that, and above all, the war is over, we're still a family of four, Thank God, even though you are far away. All of these are what makes for the gifts under this gal's Christmas tree and for a very happy Christmas.

We spent a quiet Christmas, but pleasant. Aunt Mamie came to dinner and stayed the night, because of the rainstorm or miniature typhoon that's raging without. We had a nice spicy Virginia Ham for dinner, which was more of a treat than Turkey in this house. We wined and dined by candlelight and Mother turned on the fireplace to make things festive and atmospheric. We couldn't have Christmas without a tree, but we scaled it down to a table size this year-- less clean-up work for mama and me. I guess this was the best Christmas in a while, but still we did miss that other fourth of the Quealy family to fix light sockets, eat up all the cookies and cakes; bring in a whole gang of the Midnight Mass for breakfast, and keep us up all night gabbing into the wee hours, Daddy especially!

Mother tells me you are itching to come home, on leave and she is trying to discourage it, in view of the transportation jam on the Coast. I know Murphy was only able to get home when he did because of the Army chaplain, who knew his best friend, Father Riley on board. We'd like to see you very much, Matt, and the welcome home for you would be a royal one, you can bet, but if it means that you come home tired, broke, and disgusted with trains, etc., for only a short time, we can stand it a little longer, 'til you'll be home for good, and on the Government's expense. Do what you think is best, and I know it will be a wise decision. Practically everyone in Bay Ridge has asked about you, and wish you a very Merry Christmas. Knowing you, and from what I understand about the West Coast, you'll manage quite well.

I must write you a longer detailed letter about a few things, but hope this will suffice for now, and let Aunt Mamie get into my bed---she's staying in the guest room tonight.

So, feller, let's hope yours was a happy Christmas day, but remember that Christmas can be every day in the year, and it doesn't have to end when you take down the Christmas tree, or put the mistletoe away.

Good night and God bless you.

This letter was tucked away, written in green ink, and the words were as if my mother were saying them today. No matter what, she finds the positive in a situation. Once she was having trouble with her new remote control and my son couldn't seem to explain how easy it was. She waved her hand and pronounced, "there must be something positive about this; I just can't think of it at the moment." He and I put up outdoor white lights, then set up her tree with lights as well. You would think we had given her the sun, moon, stars, exploding galaxies, heaven itself-- by the look in her eyes. And it took barely an hour of our time.

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