With ‘White Christmas,’ Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby helped make Christmas a holiday that all Americans could celebrate

Holiday songs are about values – values that keep people together in good times and hard times. How wonderful that this amazingly popular Christmas song was written by a Jewish man. Read on. Enjoy.

“Not only is it the best song I ever wrote,” he promised, “it’s the best song anybody ever wrote.”

Berlin had connected his lonesome Christmas to the broader turmoil of the time, including the outbreak of World War II and fraught debates about America’s role in the world.

This new song reflected his response: a dream of better times and places. It evoked a small town of yesteryear in which horse-drawn sleighs crossed freshly fallen snow. It also imagined a future in which dark days would be “merry and bright” once again.

This was a new kind of Christmas carol. It did not mention the birth of Jesus, angels or wise men – and it was a song that all Americans, including Jewish immigrants, could embrace.

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