So with only 3 days to go, it is definitely starting to look very much like Christmas! Since November shops and supermarkets have been playing Christmas songs. TV adverts have taken on a festive feel. DIY stores and garden centres undergo a massive transformation – out with the potted plants and cans of paint, in with the real trees and string upon string of Christmas lights, decorations and ornaments.
Many grow tired of the ever-increasing build up (it seems to start earlier each year!) to Christmas, and with an abundance of commercialisation to it, that’s easy to understand. But once the twelfth month of the year rolls around, the inner child sits up and takes note – just 25 little days until the big day. That said, there’s still always so much to do. Gift shopping. Food shopping. Card writing. The joys of wrapping any gift that doesn’t come in a nice square box. Sticky tape that shreds, or whose end always eludes us!
Yet for all the frustrations, I for one love the build up. Suddenly the Christmas songs that have invaded my ears from every store, coffee shop and TV advert become a pleasure. Turning on the radio and catching a favourite festive tune becomes a joy. While a great many of the commercials at this time of year are crass, overly-commercialised tripe designed purely to sell you products in the most blatant and shameless manner, a few manage to capture the magic (and still earn a tidy profit for the companies in question!). No Christmas season would seem complete without the now-classic Coca Cola advert. While Coca Cola didn’t actually invent the image of Santa we all picture, their lorries driving through a snowy landscape have become a staple of Christmas TV advertising since 1995! And British department store chain John Lewis have had their run of success with TV adverts that play on the emotion of Christmas rather than telling us explicitly to buy, buy, buy! They gained big success in their adverts featuring a “Mr and Mrs Snowman”, where he heads out on a journey to find the ideal gift for Mrs Snowman. 2013’s advert carries on the emotional theme, with their big budget animated advert featuring “the bear and hare”. It very cleverly targets the emotion of the season, not the cash to be made. If you haven’t already seen it, take a look here.
Christmas isn’t just about the money spent and gifts given, though (honest!). It’s about sharing time with friends and family, and the sense of kindness it brings. Some big, seemingly-faceless corporations have even found the charitable spirit of the season. WestJet, a Canadian airline, carried out a Christmas miracle that has since gone viral. In airport terminals, passengers scanned their boarding cards, only to see a purple-clad Santa appear on screen, knowing their names. He spoke with every passenger, asking what they wanted for Christmas. Needless to say, there was a surprise for passengers at the baggage carousel in their destination airports. Take a look at the video below. Now I am not so naive as to think this was done entirely from the kindness of their hearts, it is the most amazing bit of PR they could wish for. But this doesn’t change the fact that it was an amazing thing to see from a big company.
So while you are all sat around on the 25th, lost in a sea of discarded wrapping paper, gifts, rich food, turkey, festive songs, Christmas films and toys without the necessary batteries (doesn’t this always seem to happen??), remember to enjoy the moments, and spend quality time with friends, family – the people that matter the most!
Let me know what your favourite things about Christmas – films, songs, food, activities – are in the comments section.
All that’s left to say is that I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 🙂