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Humbug is an old term meaning hoax or jest. While the term was first described in 1751 as student slang, its etymology is unknown. Its present meaning as an exclamation is closer to 'nonsense' or 'gibberish', while as a noun, a humbug refers to a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle. The term is also used for certain types of candy.
“Peace on Earth, Good will toward men.” It is a difficult concept to have hoped for, in war time. Yet in December of 1914, Good will was so desired that it was achieved among soldiers of Britain, Germany, France and Belgium, despite opposition from some commanding officers.
The winter of 1914 was a particularly harsh one. Along a 27 mile western front through Belgium and France enemies faced each other from as little as 30 to 70 yards away. Soldiers were cold and miserable in muddy frozen trenches. Each side could not help but wonder about the person they were facing. Surely they were miserable too. Could the enemy possibly be as bad as they had been told?
December 1914 was the fifth month of what would turn out to be a 52 month war. Pope Benedict XV had suggested a temporary cease fire to allow for the celebration of Christmas. Many officials were reluctant.
However, soldiers and their families were not. On Christmas Eve, German soldiers began to decorate their trenches with small evergreen trees that had been sent from home. The trees were lit with candles. Initially, British soldiers suspected a trap; however, as they began to hear Christmas Carols being sung, they dared to think otherwise.
With trenches in such close proximity, the soldiers exchanged carols. At one point both sides sang the same carol. Often the two sides would exchange pleasantries such as “Merry Christmas to you.” The unofficial cease fire continued throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Opposing soldiers met in “No Man’s Land” the area between the opposing trenches. There they exchanged gifts of cigarettes and food. If words could not be understood, gestures were used. In one remarkable event German and British soldiers engaged in a game of soccer. The game continued until the ball was popped on barbed wire.
On a more somber note, the truce also allowed for the dead to be buried. In rare instances, joint services were held for the fallen. For the majority, the truce lasted for only the Christmas celebration; however, in some areas along the 27 mile western front the Christmas truce lasted through the New Year. Peace on Earth; Good will toward men had prevailed even in wartime. Inevitably war returned and continued for another 47 months.
Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by whatukno
You mad Wuk? I'm guessing Santa didn't bring you your blow up Lindsay Lohan doll? Again? Fear not my friend, fear not... I hear Big Lots has them for $12.00 starting tomorrow for the after Humbug sale!
Oh and Merry Christmas you miscreant!