During the Great War, the daily exchange of letters and parcels could amounted to millions of shipments within the same country. For soldiers, the arrival of the mail was looked forward to with tremendous emotion, for, it thought the most important comfort of all : communication with home, friends and family.
This small parcel, in its original box still bearing its stamp and postmarks, was sent to Colonel Maximilian Von Sydow, from the 72nd Infantry Regiment, with the duly underlined mention “To be opened on December 24th “. Mrs. Von Sydow was anxious to send to her husband this miniature Christmas tree (height: 22.5 cm), made of wires attached to a wooden stand, so that, even alone, he could light the seven little candles and celebrate Christmas.
The tradition of the Christmas tree came from Germany and developped in France thoughout the Great War. The civilians of the invaded areas then discovered it when German soldiers illuminated a Christmas tree and sang “O Tannenbaum” (O Christmas Tree).
For a moment, they could, with emotion, forget the din of war and express their attachment to their traditions.
This intimate object survived the war, but Mr. Von Sydow did not lit the candles: did he only have the pleasure of opening this package and have a tender thought for his wife?