Wednesday, December 24, 2014

One Hundred Years

Now Playing: Trevor Morris - The Dawn Will Come (Dragon Age Inquisition OST)

I'm a little restless. No matter how much older I get, I'm always jumpy the day before and on Christmas. It's been a busy couple of days, and on Monday night, I had a not so pleasant argument with my parents. I'm also feeling a bit weird. Lonely, I think, but not in a way that's constant or even has much reason. I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

But I set a reminder about this a few months back because it's kind of a really sweet story to talk about during Christmas, so that's what I want to ramble about today: it's been exactly one hundred years since the Christmas truce of World War 1.

To quote Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, historians and college professors everywhere hiss at me):

"Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another, in one of the truce's most enduring images...

The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable – and are often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of human history."

I think it's that last line that gets to me. I know there's a movie about it, Joyeux Noël, that I'm thinking of watching as the day comes to a close.

I get all kinds of odd when Christmas comes around, and I feel oddly connected to it despite the fact that there's never been any inherent reason for it other than "there's pretty lights, people give presents, on occasion you eat good food."

But just like birthdays and anniversaries and overly long and boring graduation ceremonies, holidays feel like days where I can come to rest and reflect on the present. I don't think of future Christmases, I don't think of the upcoming semester, I barely even think of the new year.

Christmas makes me happy, even when things get bad or when not so happy thoughts start to annoy me. It calms me down, for absolutely no reason. It's a made up thing, just another day on the calender. It could be easily ignored. But it's never really that way with me. I can't ignore it no matter how much I try, and even when things are bad, the holiday is still good. I hope it's the same for you.

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