Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A timeless Christmas story

This time of year there is no shortage of stories about the magic of Christmas. No matter where you look — in the news or in everyday life — there are accounts of people doing good deeds for others, setting aside differences, and otherwise getting into the spirit of the season.

Some of these stories are current, while others are as old as the holiday itself. Many leave lasting impressions. One of my favorites is the Christmas Truce of 1914.

One hundred years ago today, the first of thousands of British and German troops in Ypres, Belgium, left the safety of their trenches to celebrate both Christmas and their common humanity.

For two days, the World War I belligerents defied orders from their superiors by singing carols, exchanging gifts, holding joint religious services, and — according to legend — playing soccer.

Though the tale has been told many times in song, on film, in literature, and, most recently, in a slick advertisement by a British supermarket chain, it never seems to grow old. Then again, few stories better represent the "peace on earth, goodwill toward men" sentiment that is at the heart of the season.

Here’s to the spirit that led even bitter enemies to become friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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