About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Truce of WWI

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Christmas in the Trenches" by contemporary singer/songwriter John McCutcheon (he has a MySpace page with lots of info). This song tells about the legendary Christmas truce on the war front in France. His verses take us through the experience of an English soldier who found himself in the trenches on Christmas eve. Sung in first person, it is clearly an anti-war song while also being a pro-peace song that reminds us that "on each end of the rifle we're the same." (Note: This song is featured on his "Winter Solstice" CD and a YouTube performance of John doing it is also available for your viewing enjoyment.)

To learn about the Christmas truce, a very comprehensive explanation can be found at Snopes.com.

I believe this is an appropriate blog for this holiday (note: the term "holiday" comes from "Holy Day" and I believe is most apropos as the "holidays" last, in our home, from the beginning of Advent through the end of 12th night and includes all the holidays/Holy Days - St. Nicholas Day, Santa Lucia Day, Christmas eve, Christmas day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and Epiphany). I hope that all the associations in your life similarly enjoy a Christmas truce and that your enjoyment of the season will be full and stress-free!

Merry Christmas.

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