Merry Christmas and Happy 2020 to each and every Heroes, Heroines and History reader.
I love this time of the year. People just seem happier—nicer. I’m not sure what it is that makes them that way.
I wish I knew.
I wish we could all get along as if it were Christmas every day of the year. But human nature keeps us at odds for an abundance of reason.
I pray one day that will change.
Throughout history there are examples of people coming together at Christmas and making amends—at least for a moment in time.
One of those Christmas miracles happened in 1914. During the first Christmas of WWI an unofficial truce took place in the middle of battle torn Europe.
One of the first known official, written accounts of a truce developing, was when an officer of the Royal Irish Rifles reported to headquarters that the Germans had “illuminated” their trenches, were singing Christmas songs, and wishing the opposing soldiers a happy Christmas. The British officers were guarded, but the soldiers were curious. And I’m sure desperate for a little Christmas spirit while they were away from family and friends.
Unrelated to this and a bit further down the battle lines, soldiers from both sides serenaded one another with Christmas carols. The German men sang Silent Night and the British, The First Noel. Soon, scouts were sent out to meet—very cautiously—in the shell-pocked, no-man’s land between the opposing sides’ trenches. These few brave men exchanged whisky, cigars, and a message saying, in short, if we don’t fire at them, neither would they fire at us. Then the real miracle happened. More men came out of the dank, dark, battle trenches and exchanged names, handshakes, hugs; traded gifts of cigarettes, candy and food; they played games together and sang. These men who were enemies just hours before—were having a Christmas party.
Spontaneously, in other areas, the same types of trues were taking place. No one organized these events. No one spread the word that troops could come together and observe the holiday. And in fact, many officers discouraged the truce. So, what made these men—who, might I remind you, only hours before where shooting at each other—come together to celebrate Christmas, as friends, chums, mates or comrades?
Was it nostalgia or a want for tradition that brought them together or, perhaps a longing for family or home . . . We may never be able to explain it.
It was truly miraculous.
So, my friends, during this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could come together like these men in 1914 and forget our differences? Forget that we were recently “shooting” at one another. Forget the political mess our nation and world are in. Embrace the season and embrace unexplainable, unpredictable kindness.
Change begins with one person. I’m going to put forth an effort this year to be a person who makes change happen, who makes a difference.
Make the impossible happen. Then make it Christmas all year long.
Blessings to each and every one of our amazing HHH readers, and may you all have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
Multi award-winning author, Michele K. Morris’s love for historical fiction began when she first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series. She grew up riding horses and spending her free time in the woods of mid-Michigan. Michele loves to hear from readers on Facebook, Twitter, and here through the group blog, Heroes, Heroines, and History at HHHistory.com.
Michele is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.