The scetting is the front lines of the Great War. The Scots, French and German armies are engaged in trench warfare. Christmas Eve is coming and the days leading up to it have been bloody.
On Christmas Eve the various sides begin singing Christmas songs from their homelands. One particular German takes the opportunity to extend peace to the other sides by carrying over to them a lighted tannenbaum while singing Stille Nacht. At that point the leading officers determine to call a cease fire and proceed to share a bottle of champagne. The men quickly follow suit and soon enemies are busy putting to life the words, “Peace on earth, good will to men.” They celebrate through the night and one of the Scots is a priest who delivers mass in Latin. Enemies come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Which is starting to chip away at their drive to kill one another.
The next morning they end up helping to bury the dead from the previous month or so of war and the Scottish Father prays rites over men from each side of the war. The day continues the cease fire and the men play football, cards, share meals and drinks and even some personal life details with each other. As the day winds down the German officer in charge warns the French and Scots that their artillery will be blasting their trenches and invites all their men to join them in the German trench. After which the Scots open up their trenches to the Germans so they can avoid damages from retaliation strikes from their long range artillery. Enemies have become friends. A miracle has happened in the hearts and lives of warring men in a seemingly impossible situation. The men refused to fight each other in the following days which brought repercussions on them from the greater war machine system. Even the Scottish church chastised the priest who preformed mass for the evil Germans. The war moved on and the men were reassigned but there lives and hearts had been changed forever.
This Christmas season this story means more to me than any other year. As I continue to have to fight to keep my kids I also wish for peace. I would love to receive a lighted tannenbaum of peace and see an end to this campaign for good.