These refreshing holiday ads will warm your heart

Not all holiday commercials are created equal. Check out four of our favorite so far this year.

Sainsburys | YouTube.com

I may be in the minority here, but I love all the holiday ads that big businesses start rolling out sometime around Thanksgiving. Sure, sometimes the commercials seem to have little to do with the actual product they’re selling, but that’s part of the charm. Something about seeing kids bundled up and frolicking through the snow, or families enjoying a Christmas Eve celebration in a warmly lit, perfectly picturesque home sort of helps ring in the coziness of the season.

Maybe it’s because I live in the desert where snow is not an everyday occurrence, or maybe there’s something deeper. For some reason the holiday ads often seem to abandon the outright consumerism that plagues regular advertisements during the rest of the year and reach to something else that connects us all as people. For just a fleeting moment they remind us of our shared humanity and of what matters most during a season that often gets crowded with superfluous things. Check out these four ads to see some of the best—and most heartwarming—holiday commercials of the year.

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This Sainbury’s ad depicts what many of us feel during the Advent and Christmas seasons: rushed, frazzled and perpetually in a hurry and wanting for more time. The main character realizes that instead of fretting and worrying about buying the perfect gifts for everyone, that perhaps the gift of himself—of his presence—during their precious family time is the best gift he could ever give. This is such a great reminder to all of us as we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and remember that this a time meant for reflection and spending time with those we love.

Who doesn’t love Amazon? Not only do they have incredible delivery service, but this ad is pretty amazing too. We see an intimate view of a friendship between two religious leaders: a Catholic priest and Muslim cleric. Though the two friends may have differing worldviews, races, and religions, they are joined by their own humanity. As they’ve grown old together, they sympathize with typical aches and pains of age, and we get a glimpse into a rare and beautiful friendship.

So many kids dream of getting a trampoline for Christmas, but does anyone ask what dogs want? This whimsical commercial gives us a dog’s view of Christmas, and let’s just say it seems quite a bit more simple than many of ours might be. Yes, this video is a bit silly, what with all the bouncing woodland creatures and all, but it’s a reminder to just let go of some of our adult worries and enjoy the season, full of childlike wonder and joy.

As our world becomes increasingly “global,” it almost feels like just about anything we could want is simply a click away. But some things, like precious family time, aren’t so easy to come by. This ad features a grandfather who is farther from his granddaughter than he would like—we watch as he hilariously learns English (and happens to use an English curse word in the process, so don’t watch this one around the kids!) to prepare for his trip to meet his granddaughter, presumably for the first time. It’s a heartwarming glimpse into a beautiful effort to connect with those this grandpa cares about most. This ad is a great reminder about hospitality, extending generosity towards others, and putting in a real effort to show our loved ones just how much they mean to us.

Ashley Jonkman
Ashley Jonkman
Ashley is a freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two sons and two rambunctious dogs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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