There’s a reason we call it holiday “magic.” Something happens around this time of year— maybe it’s the nostalgia of Christmases from years past. Maybe it’s the realization that we never know how many holidays we’ll get with our loved ones. But it seems like, despite all the hustle and bustle of Black Friday sales . . . and teachers’ gifts . . . and White Elephant exchanges… and the frantic search for that must-have toy your kid added to their list on December 20… even through all that, there are those moments that stop you in your tracks and remind you of what this season is all about. And sometimes those reminders come in the form of emotional ads like this one from Amazon that’s sure to get you in the feels, so grab a tissue before you watch.
The marketing team definitely knew what they were doing with this tear-jerker—setting it to an instrumental version of the classic Beatles hit “In My Life” and featuring no dialogue. The opening scene is a giant sledding hill and almost immediately the camera cuts to three elderly women, sitting on a bench, watching kids fly down the hill with laughter and joy.
There’s just something about grandparents watching little kids play, isn’t there? Something so pure and wholesome. Like, if you stop and watch their faces and see their eyes twinkle with happiness, you can see the movie reel playing in their heads of all the times they played in the snow, all those years ago. And you can picture that someday, that will be you, too old to sled, but content to just sit and watch and witness the simple merriment of youth right in front of you.
Except—maybe you’re not too old, after all.
As the three women in the ad—once childhood girlfriends—soak in the delight of kids sledding in the snow and squealing with excitement, one of them gets an idea and clicks “add to cart” on her Amazon app.
In the next scene, she gifts her gal pals something special—cushions! And now they can comfortably climb into their sleds, just like they used to, and experience the exhilaration of the cold wind on their faces as their sleds go careening down the hill. And just as they sat and watched the young children having fun, now it’s the kids who are watching three women who look like their grandmothers having fun themselves.
Be warned: it’s going to be hard to hold back your tears as you see the joy on these beautiful women’s faces as the kids clear the way and let them have the hill. And watching them transform back into the young girls they once were, racing down the snow hill in wooden sleds—oh, that’s the stuff right there. *sobs*
There it is. That’s the magic of Christmas.
Amazon adds a poignant message across the screen as the ladies drag their sleds off the hill, tired, but happy, and it reads: “Joy is shared.”
And honestly, is there any other message that’s more important at this time of year? Any other message we want to somehow sift through the piles of presents and commercialization of this holiday season—especially for our children?
Joy is shared. The act of giving something special to a loved one. Belting out Christmas carols in the kitchen. Baking cookies with your mom. Watching your favorite Christmas movies as a family. Helping children in need and ensuring they wake up to presents under the tree.
Above all else, that’s what this season is really about—sharing joy. Oh, and of course, the memories. Memories of your childhood Christmases. Memories of your parents’ and grandparents’ childhood Christmases. Because the best we can hope for in life is to have years of joyful moments to look back on with a smile. And some true friends along the way who were there for the laughs.
This ad is a good reminder of something that often gets lost in the bustle of Christmas time—and that is to spend real, quality time with family members, especially the grandparents we are still blessed to have in our lives. Maybe ask them about their favorite childhood Christmas memory. And maybe, if they’re willing to take a little adventure, see if Grandma and Grandpa will go outside and play in the snow—for old time’s sake.