As it was in the American Civil War, and many other conflicts as well, the First World War began with the expectations of “it will all be over by Christmas.” But as the winter of 1914 closed in, the European conflict had entered stalemate with both alliances bogged down into trench warfare.
In the midst of this there was a moment of hope with the unofficial “Christmas Truce” of 1914. This event has become part of the popular perception of the war, and it has featured in popular culture in such films as the 2005 Joyeux Noel.
I am not a great fan of commercialised Christmas, but one of the most outstanding television advertisements I have ever seen is the 2014 Sainsbury’s Supermarket ad. I have posted it below, and believe it really does capture a bit of the spirit of Christmas – Peace on Earth, and good will to me.