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Christmas Day, 1914
My dear sister Janet,

It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts – yet I could not sleep before writing to you about what happened here on Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I had not been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France!

As I wrote before, there has been little serious fighting of late. The first battles of the war left so many dead that both sides have held back until replacements could come from home. So, we have mostly stayed in our trenches and waited.

But what a terrible waiting it has been! Knowing that any moment an artillery shell might land and explode beside us in the trench, killing or maiming several men. And in daylight not daring to lift our heads above ground, for fear of a sniper’s bullet.
The lesson “A Christmas Truce” was written by Aron Shepherd. The lesson set during World War I highlights the beauty of unlikely friendships and fellowship.
The story opens with a British soldier named Tom penning a letter to his sister Janet on Christmas Day, 1914.
Tom wrote a letter to his sister Janet
Christmas is the most observed and recognised festival of Christians worldwide, and it celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ. Christmas is celebrated in every part of the world on 25th December.
Birthday of Jesus Christ

In his letter, the British soldier said that it was 2 a.m. and that his fellow soldiers were dozing in their dugouts. A “dugout” is a shelter made of a hole dug into the earth and usually covered with a roof. Even though it was late, he couldn’t sleep well because he had wanted to write a letter to his sister stating what happened on Christmas Eve. He also remarked that thinking about what occurred on Christmas night made him feel like he was in a fairy tale. It suggests that what happened seemed to be beyond his wildest dreams. He also stated that if it hadn’t happened to him, he would not have believed it.
Furthermore, the soldier claimed that on Christmas Eve in London, while his sister and parents were singing carols in front of the fire, he was singing carols with his enemy men on the battlefields of France. As he previously stated, there had been little serious combat in recent months. When the first conflict broke out, many people on both sides lost their lives. Here the term “both sides” refer to Germany and the United Kingdom. Many soldiers lost their lives, and the remaining soldiers were forced to remain in the trenches and wait to see who would kill them next. They were also in charge of carrying out the fights until new ones were dispatched to deal with the enemies.
The British soldier then said that what a torturous wait it had been. He made the statement because they knew that anything would happen at any moment. He claimed that they were aware that their enemy soldier would appear in the trench next to them at any time. They would arrive with a large number of explosive bombs or weapons, killing and injuring them to become handicapped. Then he went on to say that daytime was more dangerous than nighttime. They might hide in the trenches at night and attack their adversaries. They couldn’t move their heads from the ground throughout the day. They feared because their enemies would hide and attack them at any time from the trenches using their bullets.
Soldiers in trenches
Meanings of the difficult words:
Asleep In a state of sleep 
DareHave the courage to do something
DugoutA shelter, usually for soldiers, made by digging a hole in the ground and covering it
Fairy taleA traditional story was written for children that usually involves imaginary creatures and magic
CarolA religious folk song or famous hymn, particularly one associated with Christmas 
SoldierA person who serves in the army 
Battlefield A place where a battle is being fought or has been fought in the past
TrenchA long, narrow ditch
Artillery Very large guns that are moved on wheels or metal tracks, or the part of the army that uses these
Maim To injure a person so severely that a part of their body will no longer work as it should 
SniperA person who shoots from a hiding place, especially accurately and at long range
BulletA small, metal object that is fired from a gun
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). Term-1 English Standard-9. The Christmas Truce- Aaron Shepard (pp. 126-131). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.