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Christmas 1944

In December 1944, my father was with his unit in a rest center in the town of Montecatini near Florence, a distance of 85 miles from the front. He was a Private First Class in the 350th Regiment of the 88th Division, U.S. Army. At the age of twenty, he had gone from being a college sophomore to a combat …

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The Gift of the Magi

When I was young, I loved O. Henry’s short story, “The Gift of the Magi.” I’m sure you know it. It’s the tale of a dirt-poor young couple long ago. One December 24, they each sacrifice their most precious possession to buy the other a Christmas present. Unbeknownst to one another, the wife cuts off her long, luxurious hair and …