Christmas is a time for gathering with family and celebrating the birth of Christ. For many of America’s bravest, gathering with family during the holidays is not an option, a fact which is often forgotten. We thought that a nod to the sacrifices and commitment made by our brave warriors each Christmas was an excellent way to remedy this for Christmas 2020.
Fill your favorite Lucky Shot vessel with your preferred beverage, sit back, and enjoy.
Christmas and America’s Bravest
America's military might will never rest; these brave men and women are always ready at home and around the world. Individual soldiers may take leave, but our fighting forces are continuously on duty 24/7 - 365 and beyond, even on Christmas.
In fact, many important military actions have occurred on Christmas Day throughout our history.
Likely the best known of these accounts is Christmas night of 1776 when General George Washington and his troops crossed the frozen Delaware River to score a much-needed victory. That successful raid netted nearly 1000 Hessian prisoners and was a critical victory for the beleaguered Revolutionary Army. We all know the rest of this story.
Christmas Eve of 1814 found the United States and Great Britain in Belgium, signing a peace agreement ending The War of 1812. But, after 32 months of conflict, there would be one more battle before the US could ratify the treaty the following February.
Arguably the most significant American victory of the war, the famous Battle of New Orleans led by Andrew Jackson and his ragtag troops, occurred in January 1815 after the treaty was signed.
American troops were engaged in the Battle of the Bulge with their Allied cohorts on Christmas 1944. Some spent that Christmas Day in battle, others in camp with a chaplain, and some lucky GI's got invites from local families to join them in a much-needed break from war for both parties.
Not every Christmas mission was a bloody affair. The night before Christmas 1968, American astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders were the first to leave Earth's gravity, orbit the moon, and see the moon's dark side. They were the first to view Earth in its entirety from space.
We often forget that astronauts were selected from the most capable pilots our military had to offer.
The soldier's Christmas
From the American Revolution until today, American warriors have made their Christmas celebration what they could with what they had on hand. However, the battlefield Christmas of today is a far cry from what it was in our earlier history.
For soldiers on either side of the American Civil War, Christmas was particularly challenging, fostering intense homesickness with fond memories of family and cheerful celebrations. Food and other supplies were often scarce (a common battlefield concern), especially for the South.
After months and even years away from home and loved ones. Soldiers on both sides longed for any sense of a normal Christmas.
While conditions for our warriors today may not be so extreme, the challenges and wishes of soldiers at war are much the same as it was then.
Harper's Weekly published a story by Reverend John Paxton, a veteran of the 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry entitled Christmas on the Rappahannock. He describes the day in detail, including an unofficial truce between soldiers on either side of the river.
Union soldiers used makeshift boats to send coffee and sugar to the Confederates, who returned the vessels with parched corn and tobacco. They exchanged Christmas salutations and friendly barbs while celebrating these small pleasures.
This is an incredibly inspiring story and one that every soldier who has ever spent Christmas on the battlefield can recognize.
A Christmas Gift for America
On Christmas Day 1896, composer John Philip Sousa was on a ship crossing the Atlantic coming home from a vacation in Europe with his wife. During their crossing, Sousa composed a march in his head that he would later transcribe from memory.
That song "The Stars and Stripes Forever" made its public debut just outside of Philadelphia in May 1897, and a 1987 act of Congress codified it as the Official National March of the United States.
Bold refrains like this one stir American patriotism at every performance.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.
The Unsung Heroes
We would be neglectful to omit a tribute to the equally brave and committed spouses and family members who keep the home fires burning when we speak of-our military at Christmas. Too often, the challenges and sacrifices of these loving spouses, children, siblings, and parents go unrecognized.
There is no better reminder of this sacrifice than the empty chair at Christmas dinner.
Lucky Shot enthusiastically thanks every one of these incredible military families for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas and the safe return of their family hero.
All of America thanks you for your contribution to our freedoms.
To all of our active duty and veteran friends, we salute you and support all you do. We can never hope to adequately express our appreciation for your service.
So, whichever branch of service and wherever you serve, Lucky Shot and all patriotic Americans salute you in honor of your service and wish nothing but the best for you and yours this Christmas and throughout the New Year.
Looking for last-minute gifts for your military friends and loved ones?
Check out our Lucky Shot Christmas Gift Sets.