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The Power of Christmas: How Christmas Turned Enemies into Friends

The Power of Christmas: How Christmas Turned Enemies into Friends

British Christmas ads are a highly anticipated event throughout the country. Last year, no one thought anyone could trump John Lewis’s darling penguin. In a surprising turn, Sainsbury’s took the lead with a story from a cold Christmas Day in 1914.

In the 2014 Sainsbury’s holiday advertising campaign, the brave men of the Great War made a comeback on television screens across Britain. The advertisement shows men on opposing sides coming together over the Christmas holiday. On Christmas Day, they laid down their weapons, exchanged gifts and even played football.

Few people are used to seeing truth in advertising. But this story is so good that no one could make it up. The nation was shocked to discover that the ad was based on a true story. The retailer loved the story so much that it worked together with a war historian to recreate the scene as accurately as possible. The Royal British Legion also got involved to add authenticity to the video.

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The British and the German soldiers had fired shots at each other only the day before. As the story goes, on Christmas Day, a British soldier looks up as the Germans begin a rendition of “Silent Night”. The British soldier then carefully climbs out of his trench and into “no man’s land”. He is then joined by other soldiers from both sides.

The soldiers play a game of football. A British soldier secretly gave a gift to a German soldier, slipping it into his pocket. When the German soldier returns to his trench, he finds a chocolate bar.

Sainsbury’s worked with relatives of soldiers who were there that day to add a fuller narrative to the story. Andrew Hamilton, grandson of Captain Robert Hamilton, allowed Sainsbury’s to access his grandfather’s diaries. The diaries revealed that Captain Hamilton made contact with two German soldiers just before dawn. This was the beginning of the Christmas gift heard around the world.

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The advertisement was not unprecedented. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the war. Earlier in 2014, the moat of the Tower of London hosted thousands of bright red ceramic poppies. This event also commemorated the anniversary of the war. During the few months that it was on display, millions of people flocked to the Tower of London to see it.

Sainsbury’s has also enjoyed a 20-year long partnership with the Royal British Legion and offers a variety of discounts for veterans. This campaign was important to everyone involved. The advertisement was made to honor the men who lost their lives during World War I. But it does so much more than that. It also serves as a reminder of what the holiday season is all about.

So many people think only of the gifts they will give and receive. They think of the food they will eat. They think of the shopping they will do and the bargains they will find, whether it’s buying a cell phone booster on Cyber Monday or the latest Apple gadget. Some think of the family members they miss and those they would rather not be seeing again.

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But the story of a war time Christmas, so beautifully illustrated by Sainsbury’s, suggests that people are capable of so much more.

It drew people’s hearts away from John Lewis’s penguin because it was a perfect illustration of how good people can be. Even in the middle of one of the bloodiest wars in history, groups of men could come together to celebrate life.

Christmas is one of the most powerful times of the year. It can make mortal enemies, who do not even speak the same language, forget their politics and their countries and come together, even if only for a day.

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Featured photo credit: Christmas Day Truce 1914/Smabs Sputzer via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships

5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships

We all have relationships. We have acquaintances, relatives, colleagues, neighbors and friends. However, for a large percentage of us, many of these relationships are not fulfilling.

They are unfulfilling because they lack real strength; and they lack real strength because they lack real depth.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, we tend to have shallow, superficial relationships with others, and it’s extremely hard for this kind of relationships to provide anything more than faint satisfaction.

I’d like to show you, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach, how you can add a significant amount of depth, and thus strength, to your relationships and make your social life a whole lot more meaningful.

Here’re 5 simple yet powerful ways for meaningful relationships building:

1. Meet More People

This is an apparent paradox, but the quality of the people you meet has considerably to do with the quantity of people you meet.

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If you don’t know a lot of people and you barely meet one or two new people every season of the year, considering the variety of individuals out there, you won’t meet very often people who are a good match with you in terms of personality, interests and values.

And since this natural match plays a huge part in building strong relationships, you’ll just as seldom have the opportunity to develop strong relationships.

Conversely, if you go out a lot, you meet a lot of new people and you constantly expand your social circle, you’re much more likely to meet people you match up well with, and these people have a tremendous potential to become good friends, reliable partners, etc.

This is why it’s important to meet more people.

2. Talk about the Things That Matter To You

A relationship becomes the strongest when two people discover they believe in the same things and have similar interests. It’s these commonalities regarding values and interests that create the strongest emotional connection.

I’ve noticed that many people keep conversations shallow. They talk about trivial stuff such as the weather, what’s on TV, the lives of various movie stars, but they rarely talk about what really matters to them in life. This is a mistake from my perspective, because it’s the perfect method for a relationship to not develop.

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Talk about the things that truly matter to you and give others a chance to know what you care about and what you believe in. If they believe in the same things and they care about the same things, they’ll eagerly let you know. Thus you’ll find meaningful common ground and you’ll feel more connected.

3. Express Vulnerability

Many people try to come off as perfect. They don’t talk about their failures, they hide their shortcomings and they never say anything that could embarrass them.

This is all just a facade though. You may appear perfect to some, but you know you’re not perfect and they know that too. You’re only human and humans have flaws.

However, by hiding your flaws, what you do succeed in is appearing cold and impersonal. You seem like a marble statue rather than a real person. And this makes it very hard for anyone to connect with you emotionally.

Humans connect with other humans, not with ideals. Keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to let your vulnerability and your humanity show. This is what takes a relationship to the next level.

Take a look at this article and find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.

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4. Have Integrity

Integrity, as I see it, is the alignment between your thoughts, your words and your actions. When you say what you think and you do what you said you’ll do, you have integrity.

This is a crucial trait because if you have integrity, people can trust you. They can trust you to give them an honest feedback, even when it’s hard to shallow, and they can trust you to keep your promises.

This trust is one of the central pillars of a strong relationship, both in your personal and your professional life. So, as challenging as it can be sometimes, always try to have integrity.

Be honest with the people around you, even when this will initially hurt them. It’s more important for them to trust you than to not feel hurt. And always do what you promised. Even better, think twice before you promise anything, and only promise what you really can and you are willing to do.

5. Be There for Others

Another central pillar of strong relationships is support. Connections between people grow sturdy if they can rely on each other for support when it’s needed, whether that support means a few kind words or several massive actions.

Of course, you can’t be there for everybody, all the time. Your time, energy and other resources are limited. But what you can do is identify the genuinely important people in your life and then seek to be there as much as possible, at least for them.

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Your support will help them practically, and it will comfort them emotionally; which makes one hell of a difference in a relationship.

The Bottom Line

With the right mindset and the right behavior, you can strengthen a wide range of relationships in your life and advance them as far as they can be advanced.

And with strong relationships, not only that you feel more fulfilled, but you feel more connected to the entire world. You feel that your life has real value, you have more fun and you live in the moment. An entire world of opportunities opens up in front of you.

Then your task is to simply walk through the open doors.

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Featured photo credit: Proxyclick Visitor Management System via unsplash.com

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