The Brawler's fixin' to start his Christmas trav'lin', which is to say he'll be off the grid for a while.
And as he drives the Brawler family over the open road, the Brawler no doubt will ruminate on one of his favorite Christmas stories: The Christmas Truce of 1914.
Short story: For at least one day -- and in some cases for a bit longer -- the Germans and Allies stopped shooting each other on the Western Front and instead exchanged gifts. Maybe even played soccer.
Firstworldwar.com has an interesting story about it:
The war was indeed on again, for the Truce had no hope of being maintained. Despite being wildly reported in Britain and to a lesser extent in Germany, the troops and the populations of both countries were still keen to prosecute the conflict.
Today, pragmatists read the Truce as nothing more than a 'blip' – a temporary lull induced by the season of goodwill, but willingly exploited by both sides to better their defences and eye out one another's positions. Romantics assert that the Truce was an effort by normal men to bring about an end to the slaughter.
In the public's mind the facts have become irrevocably mythologized, and perhaps this is the most important legacy of the Christmas Truce today. In our age of uncertainty, it comforting to believe, regardless of the real reasoning and motives, that soldiers and officers told to hate, loathe and kill, could still lower their guns and extend the hand of goodwill, peace, love and Christmas cheer.
All of which is to say, happy holidays to all -- and that means you Patrick McIlheran.