A Trail of Thoughts: Ceasefire!

Christmastime is here!

The snow and glowing lights can be seen everywhere, often making for a very peaceful scene.

However, it would seem that peace on earth is a rare commodity these days. Sometimes I feel that everywhere I turn, there is bickering of some sort. It doesn’t matter if the subject is essential or minuscule, disagreement and controversies seem to be ever-present. At times, there is a need for a “ceasefire.” It has happened before, both literally and figuratively. 

An excellent example comes from 1914. According to history.com, the “Christmas Truce” occurred on and around Christmas Day 1914, when the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in many places along the Western Front during World War I in favor of holiday celebrations. During the unofficial ceasefire, soldiers on both sides of the conflict emerged from the trenches and shared gestures of goodwill.

Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British soldiers sang carols to each other across the lines, and at specific points, the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across the area known as no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues.

At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed, they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers.

The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs.

Some Germans even lit Christmas trees around their trenches. German Lieutenant Kurt Zehmisch recalled: “How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers seemed to feel the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of love, managed to bring “mortal enemies together as friends for a time.”

While wartime is an entirely different subject in and of itself, this is one example of laying weapons down and reaching a compromise. There is so much conflict seen all around these days.

It is time to get back to the basics and once again focus on common goals. Christmas is supposed to be the time of year to extend kindness and generosity. Wouldn’t it be nice if there could be another time of reprieve from fighting at Christmas?