What could be learned from the Christmas truce of 1914

Dustin Rigler, Geyser staff writer

There have been many acts of kindness on Christmas. There’s always the Christmas movies where nothing is going right for a person and they are just being dragged down, but then friends and family step in and the characters holiday is a lot better. This happens a lot and is highly exaggerated in some movies, but you wouldn’t think of the soldiers fighting in a war to just completely stop and enjoy this holiday with each other. 

On Christmas morning in 1914 on the WW1 battlefield, German soldiers crossed no man’s land saying Merry Christmas. At first, the allied forces thought it was a trick, but after they saw that the Germans were unarmed the allied forces came out and shook hands with the Germans and exchanged presents. 

The allies already knew there was something up the night before. Around 8:30 on Christmas eve, the German forces lit up their trenches with Christmas trees and sang Christmas carols. Both the Germans and allies sent a few scouts out to meet in the middle of no man’s land. The scout for the allies received a note along with a glass of whiskey and a pack of cigars. The note said “if we didn’t fire at them, they would not fire at us.” when the Germans met the English soldiers, they greeted them by saying “English soldier, Merry Christmas.” 

This is similar to today because everyone usually comes together and exchange gifts. No matter what is going on, there is always time to stop disputes and show that you still care for people. Christmas or any other holiday, everyone should at least go out and try to show the world that you care. It doesn’t matter if you’re donating a toy to a toy drop or holding the door for someone. There are many ways of showing kindness and even if it’s subtle, it still counts. 

A lot of times, people stay in a little bubble where the only thing that they care about is themselves and they only do things that benefit them. But, like in World War One, the Germans and the allies put aside their differences and enjoy the holiday with each other even though they were at war with each other. So no matter what you have going on, sometimes it’s best to put things aside and show other people that you care.