The Christmas Truce of 1914 (as portrayed in Sainsbury’s Christmas 2014 Ad)

I absolutely love this ad, and even more, the historical episode it portrays: the Great Christmas Truce of 1914, which for a few brief, shining hours, stopped one of the most horrific and destructive wars in history – certainly in European history – in its tracks. Before they were forced back to killing each other by their “superiors,” the ordinary soldiers of the British and German Armies enjoyed a brief respite from the fighting… and a brief vision of one another as fellow humans, and European brothers.

If only the spirit of that moment could have somehow taken hold, been built upon, perhaps the terrible destruction and loss of the flower of European youth – the “death of a generation” – at Verdun, the Somme, and other battles, might have been prevented. And perhaps, just perhaps, the continued suffering and loss which has followed – World War Two, the Cold War, and Europe’s present crisis – might also have been prevented…

A heartwarming, yet heartbreaking, story.