Merry Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas from Mr. Richard Stokes
Posted on 12/21/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Merry Christmas from Mr. Richard Stokes

Reminder: In observance of the Winter Holidays, there will be no school in the Carson City School District for two weeks (Dec. 21 to Jan. 1).

Dear Friends:

On a cold Christmas Eve in 1914, German, French, and British Soldiers hunkered down in the muddy trenches that had become their home during World War I. Between those trenches was a war-torn expanse of ground that was simply referred to as “no-man’s land.”

That evening, the troops on both sides finished their evening meals and gathered in small groups.  Most were likely thinking of home, re-reading letters, or looking at tattered photographs of loved ones as they had so many times before. Familiar yuletide music was sung in both camps and Christmas trees trimmed with candles could be seen atop the parapets. With the uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring, the soldiers of both sides likely reflected on the meaning of the season and remembered happier times of Christmases past.  

The harmonious music was in stark contrast to the noise of exploding bombs and the anguished cries of injured and dying men just hours earlier. As the traditional Christmas music floated between the trenches, soldiers of both armies began proclaiming holiday greetings to their opponents in the native tongue of their foes. What a transformation when just hours before, this war-torn field had been the place of turmoil, destruction, and death. Now, on that Christmas Eve, something profound stirred the hearts of these hardened men and the night had truly become holy.

On Christmas morning, soldiers from the opposing sides petitioned the other to agree to a day of celebration with an absence of hostilities. And then it happened. In this part of the war, on this Christmas day, soldiers from both sides emerged from the trenches and met unarmed on the former field of battle. Here, two warring ideologies had united under the banner of Christmas and were now meeting face to face, smiling, shaking hands, and sharing precious homemade goodies and souvenirs. This courageous and chivalrous event known in history as the “Christmas Day Armistice” is a powerful example of what is possible during Christmas. With such a beginning, it is difficult to imagine what the participants must have felt as that miraculous day ended and they faced an uncertain tomorrow.

For nine months, we too have been at war. Our enemy is unseen, but its effects have been tragic. This foe has brought illness, fear, death, and a loss of freedom to our lives. Even though facemasks and social distancing limit this holiday season, Christmas is still a time of miracles. Even though we are confined in our interactions and reduced in our social activities, I continue to see amazing acts of goodness and humanity everywhere I look in our community and schools. Thank you for the service you continue to provide. I am thrilled to have you as my colleagues, friends, and neighbors and am proud to join you this holiday season as we look forward to a new year; one full of hope, promise, peace, and good will. Merry Christmas!        


Richard Stokes


Carson City School District