A merry Christmas?
- 5 Posts
- Age 19
I've been reading a lot about the world war, and it's really fascinating. Most history junkies know that on the Christmas of 1914, smack-dab in the middle of World War I, there were a series of ceasefires along the western front. Soldiers crossed enemy trenches unarmed, to shake hands, exchange gifts and they even went as far as to sing Christmas carols together.
Alfred Anderson, the last known surviving Scottish veteran of the war, vividly recalled Christmas Day in 1914:
“I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence. Only the guards were on duty. We all went outside the farm buildings and just stood listening. And, of course, thinking of people back home. All I’d heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machinegun fire and distant German voices. But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted ‘Merry Christmas’, even though nobody felt merry. The silence ended early in the afternoon and the killing started again. It was a short peace in a terrible war.”
Walking home tonight, along the brightly lit houses and trees, and the melodious sound of children singing 'o come oh yea faithful' from one of the many churches in my town, I find myself reminiscing about Christmas in 2009. I was 10 years old at that time. I remember dancing with my dad to the tune of a (now forgotten) Christmas song on the radio. As a child I was raised in a Christian home, so for me Christmas strongly represents the birth of Jesus and an embodiment of love, hope, miracles and redemption. I can still remember quite clearly sitting in the living room, surrounded by laughter, warmth and the people I loved dearly. I remember thinking wistfully then that the world was a completely happy place.
Fast forward to the present; I know better than I did back then. So much has happened between the Christmas of 1914 and now, yet only little has changed. No matter how hard we pretend, it doesn’t change this truth. It's time we stopped history from repeating itself. It's time we start fighting for the type of silence that isn't continually broken by the sound of gun-fire and violence, or the widespread of moral deterioration. It's time we take a stand!
It starts with showing kindness to everyone we meet or lending a hand to someone in need.
It starts with love.
May love guide our ways, always.
I wish everyone a reflective Christmas! x