It'll all be over by Christmas... (forum archive)

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File alt font awesome.svg Posted by plbramham » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:27 pm

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Posts: 1369

"It'll all be over by Christmas..."

A seasonal thought - we've all heard the often quoted "It'll all be over by Christmas..." by who actually originally said it?!!!

I have never ever seen it attributed as being first said by one particular individual, or having been first printed by one particular publication. Is it a sort of urban myth-type saying that has grown up over the years or was it actually an official/ unofficial quote from the time? (I was going to say a "contemporary quote", but the word "contemporary" nowadays seems to be incorrectly used to mean "modern" rather than it's correct meaning "of the period")

"By Christmas" has almost been paraphrased into modern language, as nowadays everything seems to have a Chrismas deadline - look at the home improvement programmes for example, they all have to be completed "in time for Chistmas" etc!

So, can anyone attribute the phrase to a particular individual? It certainly was not Kitchener he always thought the war would drag on, or the Foreign Secretary Sir Secretary Edward Grey who said "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time".


File alt font awesome.svg Posted by plbramham » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:27 pm

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Posts: 1369

The closest I've found to "by Christmas" was a quote used by the classic (and excellent - I've just watched it again) BBC series "The Great War".

In it they state that the Kaiser said something along the lines of "The army will be home before the leaves have fallen". I wonder if that was the origin of "over by Christmas"?


File alt font awesome.svg Posted by kerchi » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:45 am
Posts: 2160
In memory of
John Bardgett
(15309 L/Cpl.)

11th Border Regiment
Who died 1st July 1916.
This is a difficult one. I couldn't find attribution to one person. How about the following (not my words):

A very common saying used by Generals in both World Wars. Every time they came up with a big plan, it was designed to end the war by Christmas and bring the boys home. Of course we all know that never happened. It was used so often that it became a joke. Field Marshall Montgomery "Market Garden will be so successful it'll be over by Christmas". In reality, it went for more than another year. Good job Monty. - source

And with slightly different wording:

"It'll all be over by Christmas" was said of the First World War by armchair strategists, in August 1914. Ironically, the phrase has become a popular reassurance: more recently, President Clinton promised the American public in 1996 that US troops in Bosnia would be "home for Christmas". - source

We should declare war on North Vietnam. We could pave the whole country and put parking strips on it, and still be home by Christmas. - Ronald Reagan - source