The legend of the World War I Christmas truce transforms poignantly from fantasy to real-life events through retelling of eyewitness accounts, letters, and even some sketches actually made at the scene by the men (or more often boys) who were involved.
Details of exchanges of trees and gifts and Christmas carol contests amid the carnage of the fighting only a few days before serve as a hopeful reminder of the basic goodness of our fellow man, regardless of nationality.
There are references to superior officers' repeated but unsuccessful attempts to suppress the amiable associations that sprouted unbidden from the frozen mud. They feared the men would not be able to go back to the business of killing after such fraternization. While that was a practical concern for the officers, it is nonetheless a bone-chilling concept for the reader to grasp.
Overall, Silent Night provides readers with an agonizingly bittersweet glimpse into how much more horrendous the war must have been once the young warriors had briefly clasped hands in a comradeship that overlooked their differences and focused on their common humanity