There’s something about the holidays that makes us all a little nostalgic.

A home becomes a little cozier with a fire crackling in the hearth. The smell of your grandmother’s apple pie bubbling in the oven transports you back to childhood meals spent around her dining room table. The warmth of hugs and conversation from family gathered together fills hearts with love and precious memories. 

But sometimes, the holidays are hard.

This season can remind us of the people missing from our holiday tables.

Sometimes it reminds us of the loves we’ve lost or the hugs we’re yearning to feel just one more time.

RELATED: Getting Through the Holidays Without Your Mom: 6 Ways To Cope With Grief

Leave it to a grocery store chain to capture that feeling perfectly in its new holiday ad. 

Kroger released an ad called “The Magical Cookbook” that has us tearing up—and remembering the people we miss this year. 

The ad opens with a shot of a darkened home tucked between houses cheery with Christmas lights and snow. Inside, we see a gray-haired man shuffling down the stairs to his kitchen, reaching for coffee on the counter. In the process, he knocks over a stack of papers, including a small red book marked “Isabela’s Recipes.” The man opens it and smiles as he flips to a handwritten recipe for Cranberry Brie Bites, then the ad jumps forward to him bringing groceries home and making the recipe. 

As he takes a bite of the finished creation, he flashes back to the first time he tasted it—and the young girl in a pink dress who reaches for the last treat beside him. The two smile at each other, and split the bite-sized treat. 

The next recipe the man recreates is titled “My Gift: Cinnamon Apple Pie” with a heart sticker reading “for mi amor” stuck to the side. As he closes his eyes and tastes the pie, he’s transported back to the day the same young woman presented him a pie under the mistletoe and kissed his cheek. 

What follows is a sweet montage of the man remembering the love of his life, the girl in the pink dress.

As he prepares the final recipe—”My Secret Roast Turkey”—a young family arrives: his children and grandchildren. 

As he’s about to taste the turkey, a note catches the old man’s eye on the bottom of the recipe: “Enjoy with family.” He looks over, sees his granddaughter smiling up at him, and offers her the bite instead. The ad ends with the smiling family gathered around the holiday table, and fades into a new snapshot for the recipe book and the words “Today’s holidays are tomorrow’s memories.” 

Cue the tears . . . and all the memories we have from holiday tables filled with favorite recipes too. Those memories are precious indeed. 

Well done, Kroger! 

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