My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because no one has yet to affix a gift giving component to it, other than the gift of family, friends, and food. Every year, we celebrate with anyone who is around, and it’s always a joyous blend of family, friends – many of whom are like family, and amazing food. We eat, play games, laugh hysterically, share stories, and just rejoice in the moment that is often rare in our hectic lives – just being together.
I’m not an overly religious person. I understand Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, and I also understand the religious meaning behind many of the aspects of the holiday; however, the religious piece is not something I overtly celebrate about the holiday. Nor is the commercial aspect.
Yes, we exchange presents, but this is the piece that actually starts to annoy me about Christmas lately. As I said to my husband the other day, I am starting to loathe the whole thing – we are coming up with gifts to give quite simply because that is the standard… to give a gift because of the commercialism that has seemed to consume this holiday.
I almost cannot watch regular TV from Thanksgiving through Christmas due to the blaring commercials screaming, “BUY THIS!” or “SALE ON THIS – GET IN THE STORE NOW!” 50% off this, this toy will make your child happy… blah, blah, blah.
However, a few commercials have captured my heart this season because they get it – the “spirit” of the season. There’s no screaming BUY NOW message. Oddly, most are not American. I’m not saying we Americans don’t produce commercials with meaning, but more often than not our commercials are only 3 letters short of commercialism.
Each of these commercials seems to get it right. Watch each commercial to the end, and tell us in the comments if you managed not to get teary with at least one of these. We laughed hard at some pieces, but you beat us out if you managed to keep a dry eye throughout them all.
The Selfless Gift
I adore this commercial – the boy knows he might be on the naughty list with Santa, so he appeals to Mrs. Claus. In the end, his gift is one that allows his sister to be happy – it’s not even a gift for himself. Mrs. Claus gets this boy. And she’s one badass lady to boot. Pause and check out the book she’s reading at the end. Hysterical.
The Gift of Family Lost
This commercial almost rips my heart out every time I watch it. It’s poignant. In so many cases, it’s painfully true. It’s glorious. It’s beautiful. I want a follow up to know this isn’t a one time deal.
The Gift of Family Coming Home
When I first watched this, I thought, “How cute! These sweet teddy bears.” I couldn’t quite figure what was happening, and then the final scene. So beautiful.
The Gift of New Family
Equal parts hilarious – the bathtub scene – and beyond endearing on every level, this is perhaps my favorite commercial of them all. The ending stole my heart.
The Gift of Sheer, Utter Joy
The little girl is going to be beyond excited, but Buster’s joy might just overshadow hers. And I like the underlying message to share the joy with everyone, as well.
The Thoughtfully Curated Gift
This commercial couldn’t have been better made in today’s heated post-election climate. It’s the gift of real friends who know each other well enough to get something thoughtful. And it’s the gift of acceptance. We’re all bloody human, after all.
The Gift of Acceptance and Belonging
Poor Frankie. But he and a young lady teach us the most important gift we all should give right now – the gift of having an open heart.
What do I do to combat my loathing of the commercialism? Every Christmas Eve, we call as many people who will come to our house for a night of laughter, food, friendship, family, games, stories – love. If gifts are exchanged at all, they are often homemade cookies (a baker surrounds herself with other extraordinary bakers), candies, jams or canned foods, or extremely thoughtful items curated specifically based on the likes and personality of the receiver. It’s a lot like our Thanksgiving, in truth.
Whatever you do this season, may the gifts you give be more from the heart than anywhere else.
Christmas bow thumbnail image credit