Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Christmas Miracle

Hey all! Back for day #7! I have a short story here I entitled The Christmas Miracle.  For those of you who were part of the link-up last year, you may remember it. ;) If you weren't here last year... sit back, and follow instructions! xD

Today's post is just a little bit different. Instead of just reading through all the post, you're going to have to do some of the things in order. You can't just read the post and watch the videos later.Trust me, it will be well worth it! 

Okay, first watch the video below.




Got that done? Wasn't it so sad and sweet at the same time? I've watched it over and over again. 
I decided to write a short story based off of the "movie" you've just watched. Would it be called fan-fiction? Probably, I'm not sure. :P It's basically a narrative of the movie.
Okay, now press play on the video below. This step is optional. If you don't like to have music playing while you're reading then skip it! :)  I know I do enjoy music playing while I'm reading, so I found a piece I thought matched both the clip above and the piece I wrote. Music always makes reading more real for me. . .I may be weird. ;) 


Okay, is the music playing? Great!  Now here's my super short "fan-fiction" story. :) 


The Christmas Miracle

Jim fingered the package in his hand. The snow fell lightly around the men huddled together in the trenches. It was Christmas eve, but it didn’t matter. War didn’t stop for anything or anyone.
He glanced at the faces of the men around him. Fear, uncertainty, and above all, loneliness.
Somehow Christmas made home seem further away than ever.
He fingered the picture that Lynette had sent to him. Her pretty face smiled back at him, her lips tilting in that laugh he knew so well. Oh, how he wanted nothing more than to be home!
The gift that she had included in the package made him smile. Chocolate. She knew it was his favorite. It seemed to bring a sliver of warmth into the bitter cold to know that, back home, they were all thinking about him and praying for him.
The smile faded as a sudden noise from the direction of the enemy camp made him glance up. Oh, please, Lord. No fighting, not today.  He breathed the prayer before he even recognized what the sound was.
He stood up, could he be hearing right?
A glance at his battalion commander confirmed what he had heard. The Germans were indeed singing “Silent Night” in German.
After a few confused seconds, the men all glanced at one another. Than simultaneously, a smile lit their weary faces, and they all joined in, singing Silent Night in English.
A feeling of awe swept over Jim as he sang the familiar words. Here they were, two different groups of people, two enemies, singing a simple Christmas song together. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the differences between the two countries could be settled as simply?
The song finished and a quiet swept over the barren countryside.
A sudden thought hit Jim, but he shook it away. No, there was no way. Christmas or not, they were in the middle of a war.
He sat back and the silence seemed to close in on them like a thick fog. Some of the men didn’t seem to care as they closed their eyes and tried to rest during the reprieve. Others, like him, looked around anxiously.
Jim rubbed his hands together, doing his best to keep them warm despite the cold temperatures. A whole day spent like this? The thought was not appealing, and his earlier idea wouldn’t leave. Maybe they’ll be friendly today. Perhaps, for one day, we can put aside our difference. They sing the same songs we do. Surely they wish for peace just as much. It was an idea he knew would be immediately refused by his commander, so he slowly stood. A few of the men glanced at him in mild curiosity, but most of them didn’t even spare him a glance. Good, that should make this easier.
He removed his hat from his hand and started up one of the ladders that let out of the trenches. He heard a startled gasp behind him, but he kept going, hands spread out to show a sign of peace.
As he came up over the side of the trench, a sudden cry rang out from the German lines. They thought he was leading an attack. For a moment he faltered. Should he continue going forward and risk perhaps getting killed? Or should he retreat back to the trenches where it was safe?
Common sense told him to do the latter, but something continued to push him forward.
It was at that moment, as the German voices rang across the silence, that his battalion commander caught sight of him. Uncrossing his arms he jumped up. “Jim, Jim no! Don’t do it”
Jim paid no attention as he continued all the way up until he was standing firmly on the frozen ground.
He could almost feel the German guns pointed at him and he steeled himself, waiting for the first hit.
But before it could come, a voice yelled “halt!” One, lone voice, but the wind seemed to carry it to Jim’s ears, and a renewed hope surged through him. 
Perhaps Christmas would be special after all.
As he stood, his eyes fixed on the German lines, one man appeared, arms spread apart just like his had been.
They continued toward each other, each holding the other's gaze. Jim felt as though he were in a trance. Is this really happening?
Jim heard other men step up behind him and saw a number of the German soldiers do the same.
As they met in the middle, Jim surveyed the soldier. His enemy. The man was about his age with dark black hair. To Jim's surprise, no open hostility was in his eyes; he looked like so many others, wishing only for peace.  
Jim reached his hand out. “My name is Jim.”
The man opposite him smiled ever so slightly. “And my name is Otto.”
His German accent was thick, but his English seemed to be impeccable
He smiled. “I’m pleased to meet you, Otto.”
Otto nodded, his face blossoming into a full smile. “It is good to meet you as well.”
Jim glanced around the field, amazed by the transformation that had taken place. Former enemies were laughing together, shaking hands, seeing each other was not enemies, but as fellow humans. As friends. There was no hard feelings between the men as they laughed with one another, each one genuinely happy for a break from the fighting.
As though suddenly inspired to do something friendly, Jim turned back toward Otto, pulling a picture from his pocket. “This is Lynette. My girl waiting for me.”
Otto smiled and said something in German he couldn't quite understand.
Otto smiled at his confusion as he repeated the word, motioning to his face.
“Oh,” Jim nodded as understanding dawned on his face. Beautiful. He was saying she was beautiful.
Someone tapped Jim on the back and he turned as one of his friends darted past, kicking what looked to be a ball.
Jim nodded and smiled, clapping Otto on the back. "You play?”
Otto nodded and took off his jacket, setting it down to form a makeshift division between the two teams. The game was organized and soon the field that had been so quiet and still that morning was filled with the sounds of laughter and rivalry as they played together, genuinely enjoying the company of their new-found friends.
Jim glanced away from the game for a while and smiled as he saw many German and British soldiers exchanging gifts with one another.
Soon some of the older officers joined in as their game continued. Jim laughed as he was knocked to the ground by one of the Germans, and landed hard in the snow. The German grinned and fell into the snow beside him; he was clearly enjoying the game just as much as anyone else.
This game wasn’t one side against the other. Instead, they mingled together, both Germans and British soldiers on either side.
Jim stood and hurried back into the game. The day wore on, neither side seeming to be aware of the time passing.
The sudden noise of cannons to the south brought an abrupt halt to the laughter. The clapping and cheering of those on the sidelines fell silent as the realization that they were at war fell heavily upon each man’s soldiers.
The game stopped and faces that had been smiling turned grim. The soldiers suddenly gathered their things back together as they each started back toward their opposite trenches.
A feeling of sadness engulfed Jim. It was over. Christmas was over and the war was about to begin again. Why, oh why couldn't the leaders see that peace was so much more desirable?
Jim glanced up and his eyes met those of Otto’s. A silent message seemed to pass between the men as they shook hands for the final time.
Jim nodded to him, “Happy Christmas.”
Seeming to ignore the sounds of the cannons in the distance, Otto grinned and replied in German. Jim could guess what he had said. Even if they didn't speak the same language, his eyes said it all. Merry Christmas.
And that was it Then they both turned and went back to the trenches.
As Jim found a place to sit and settle down, he opened up his tin and smiled. The chocolate was no longer there; no it had been slipped into Otto’s coat. Lynette will be glad to know her gift has been a blessing to not one but two people.
He leaned back against the wall as the cannons seemed to move in closer. Once again, they were enemies. But . . . not truly. 
He would never forget the day that they had laid aside their differences and enjoyed a Christmas with the enemy. Thank you, Lord for the gift you’ve given us.It was a silent but heartfelt prayer.
God had truly given them a Christmas Miracle.


20 comments:

  1. That's an amazing short story! I love it! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellyn! So glad you enjoyed! ^_^

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  2. Your story is wonderful, Jesseca! :D Having the background music playing while reading the story made it all the more better. :)

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    1. Thank you, Rebekah!! Isn't background music the best?!

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  3. When I was doing my research for "Home Fires" I came across this story and have loved it ever since.
    Well written.

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    1. Yeah, it's such a sweet story! Thank you!

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  4. This is an amazing story!! I enjoyed it this year and last. :)

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  5. I just ran across your blog and WOW I love this short story! I just love how you incorporated a Christmas miracle into this story and I don't know, I guess it just kinda puts you in the Christmas mood.
    I love your blog and I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future!
    -Lauren <3
    lovingourcreator.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, thanks so much, Lauren! So glad you enjoyed the story! Welcome to the blog. ;)

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  6. Ahh, Jess, this story was SO sweet! I had seen the video before; I literally almost cried when I watched it. Loved that you adapted it into a short story! :D

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    1. YES IT IS!!! I know, I did, too, the first time! Thanks; it was a lot of fun to do!

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  7. Aw that was nice :) I loved that trailer from the first time I saw it. From what I read about the Christmas day truce things were slightly different than the trailer depicted, but I still love it. Surprising enough the Germans and English armies declared peace on other occasions to collect and bury their dead in no-mans land and so-forth. Leaders on either side never liked it and tried to keep that from happening.

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    1. Isn't it the cutest trailer ever?!
      Hehe, yeah, I've read several different versions of the truce. I need to find a firsthand account to read somewhere...xD I think it is so neat that they would have those "peace" times. I would have loved to hear firsthand about them!

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  8. I've loved this story from the first time I heard it. Your "fan-fiction" made it all the more special. :D

    Have you heard the song Christmas 1915? My favorite version is Celtic Thunder's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG3l-OBdcPI

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    1. Aw, thanks, Brianna!
      *gasps* There's a song?!?!? I haven't heard it!!! *goes to watch* Thanks so much for the link!!! :D

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  9. Every time I think about this part of history I get all teary-eyed. Great story! :) *blinks* What no, I wasn't crying... :P Ok yes I was. *coughs*

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    1. I know, me, too! It's so beautiful! Hehe, thanks, glad you enjoyed it! :) Yeah.. I cried writing it, soo... you're in good company. ;)

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  10. I rememeber hearing about this, though I don't remember where. So cool to see that they made a short video about it!
    And i love your story!

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    1. Yes, I love the video! It's so sweet!
      Aww, thanks! :)

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