Benefit from
our Emails!

Great discounts & content. Sign Up!

Or, learn more about
our emails!
Find the perfect ornament: Gift finder Tool
all categories:
$$ ON SALE! $$
Activities
Advent Calendars
African American / Ethnic
Angel
Anniversary, Wedding & Engagement
Baby
Birthstone
College and University
Diannes Gift Ideas
Easter
Expecting Moms/Couples
Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes
Fall and Halloween
Family
Food & Drink
For Her
For Him
Glass Ball
Glass Ornaments
Graduation
Grandparents
Holiday Plaques
Home
Kids
Made in America
Made in Europe
Memorial
Music
Occupations
Patriotic
Pets and Animals
Picture Frames
Piggy Banks
Religious
Santa & Snowman
Snow Globes
Space & Technology
Sports
Table Decorations
Teachers and School
Transportation
Vacation and Travel
Valentine
Western

Christmas A to Z

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

How Christmas Stopped the Fighting During World War I

I

t was the "War to end all wars" and it seemed to go on forever, though it actually ran from July, 1914 to November 11, 1918. During the four Christmas celebrations encompassed by the War – a time when leading men of the cloth decried the killing of "Christian men by Christian men" those same Christian men retained their Christianity, at least for a few hours on Christmas Day.

Thumbing through the pages of The New York Times you could read about the Christmas trees that appeared in the trenches, decorated to a varying degree to be sure, but there nonetheless throughout the War. Many of those trees (some 5,000,000 of them, known as "treelets") were sent by official government post from the UK in time for Christmas 1915.

But it was the first Christmas in the field, in 1914, that revealed the human side of men on both sides of the lines. It was the Germans who started it, placing their little candle-lit trees on the ground about their trenches. At first the Allies shot at a few of them but, when they heard the singing – in German, of course, but to tunes they all knew such as Silent Night – they stopped their shooting and began singing along. They posted crude signs that read "Merry Christmas" and "You no shoot, we no shoot" and the next thing you knew peace broke out. Allied and German soldiers exchanged gifts of chocolate and tobacco and other treats. Some played soccer. But all sang.

It lasted in many places until the generals made them resume fighting, often not until New Year’s and often then with the bullets aimed carefully at the stars.

By the Christmas of 1918, the Christmas trees were often obtained by Yanks at the same "Weihnachtsmarkt" or Christmas Market as those destined to reside in the homes of local Germans who lived in recently captured American territory. One amazed Times correspondent via "special cable" wrote that those trees in the area of the Rhine might also be decorated with the same tinsel – given to the Yanks by local residents of Coblenz who were delighted that the War was over.

Written by Dianne Weller
Back to list
Your source for personalized Christmas ornaments and gifts for all occasions.
Baby's First Christmas Ornaments
History of Ornaments
Xmas Trivia
Join Our Affiliate Program
Our Scholarship Offer
Privacy Policy
Security
Website Terms of Use

Follow us!

For unique and decorative Christmas ornaments from around the world, visit our sister site... Christmas Ornaments