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Militaries around the world wish you a Merry Christmas

Spanish soldiers celebrate Christmas in their base of Medugorje (south of Bosnian city of Mostar) December 24. Troops from various nations have been deployed in former Yugoslavia as part of the International Forces (IFOR), to implement the peace accord signed recently in Paris - RTXFIQ3
Reuters/Eric Gaillard
Everybody loves Christmas.
By Zach Wener-Fligner

2014-15 Fellow. Quartz Things team.

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Christmas is finally here.

And that means we’ve been barraged from all sides with seasons greetings for the past several weeks, from friends and family as well as politicians, companies, and other public figures.

It’s particularly interesting to look at how militaries handle Christmas greetings. After all, the holiday emphasizes traditional family values perhaps more than any other among Western nations—and military deployment typically separates soldiers from their families. At the same time, militaries are also viewed as the first line of defense when those values are imperiled by outside forces.

This year, many armed forces issued official Christmas wishes via Twitter. (Some also used other internet channels to offer seasons greetings, such as this Youtube video of US Marine Corps Commandant Joseph Dunford.) Here’s how several countries handled those greetings:

US Navy

US Marines

British Army

French Army

French Air Force

And why should predominantly Christian nations get a monopoly on Christmas wishes? The Israeli Defense Forces made sure to get in on the action, in a decidedly less militaristic fashion:

Israeli Defense Forces

As did the Indian Army:

Indian Army

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