12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar – December 22

December 22 – Nicole “Nick” Bronwyn

When I was little, I loved Snoopy’s Christmas just because it was about Snoopy. But when I was ten or so, my father sat me down and explained that the song was based on a true event. On Christmas Eve in 1914, during World War I, the German and British troops decided to call a truce. These men who were dragged away from their homes for the express purpose of killing each other decided the day meant more than their war, and they celebrated together. They gave each other presents, sang, and played football.

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The superiors on both sides were, of course, against it and tried to make sure it never happened again. But why? Why not take a moment on that day of all days to acknowledge your fellow man? I’m grown up now, and I’ve photographed my fair share of battlefields. The Christmas truce was one moment when soldiers became human beings again. Civilized, compassionate people who didn’t hate the person across the field simply because of who or what he was. In my opinion, we need a lot more truces like that.

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Every time I hear Snoopy’s Christmas now, I think about the possibilities of extending a hand to your enemy, if even for just one day. Merry Christmas, everyone. Peace to all the world and goodwill toward man. It’s nowhere near as hokey as it sounds, trust me.

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– Nick Bronwyn appears in the short story Baked Goods and will also appear in the story In Every Port to be published in Khimairal Ink’s January issue.