Traditionally the editors of magazines seek something special at Christmastime, lighting their pages more brilliantly than ever with the sparkling warmth of the occasion.
As SI's first Christmas approaches, we feel in one sense a continuation of what happens every week: the festival and holiday quality that surrounds the world of sport in all the seasons of the year. But next week, something special.
The cover is a winter scene of the Swiss village of Davos, whose buildings stand like spun sugar before a wood of snow-decked evergreens. Inside the magazine, the skiers, looking in their colored costumes like Christmas tree ornaments, skim the Alpine slopes and dot the landscape, where on Christmas Eve the jangling of harness bells and the sound of music boxes ring through the crisp air to the ears of anyone who listens. And in a different vein, on other pages, Hans Liska has painted his impressions of a Bavarian boar hunt, evoking the thought of the heavy-laden feast tables to come.
But for all the groaning boards, tinsel and toys and festive gatherings, Christmas remains essentially a tradition of good will and celebration grounded in religious significance. And this most important aspect of it our editors have presented in two full-page, full-color illustrations of the window in The Sports Bay of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, which, dedicated to St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, shows not only sport and combat in Biblical scenes but figures of modern sports as well.
In speaking of The Sports Bay, an official of the Episcopal diocese of New York recently told one of our editors: "Our feeling is this: religion is always related to life, of the past and future, and of the present. And many of the stained glass windows of the cathedral bays follow the theme of relating activities of modern life with activities of the Biblical past. We have The Medical Bay—The Arts Bay—The Education Bay—and we have The Sports Bay, representing an activity which is a large and good part of life today and follows a strong line into Biblical history itself."