In case you thought the world of marketing and advertising was hopelessly without heart, Christmas commercials are about to prove otherwise.
Grab the tissues!
One brand chose to use their premium holiday commercial space to promote an important cause in 2022.
According to Today, U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners, known for their imaginative Christmas advertisements, has “launched ‘The Beginner‘ which shares the story of a family preparing to welcome a child in foster care — but the viewer doesn’t know that at first.
Initially, we are introduced to a man making repeated — unsuccessful — attempts to learn to skateboard.
“A cover of Blink 182’s ‘All The Small Things’ by Mike Geier begins to play as the man’s efforts progress through more falls and skateboard-related injuries through the Christmas season. At the end of the video, the family is seen opening the door to a social worker and a girl, who is holding her skateboard.”
The man then points to his own skateboard and says, “I skate a bit, too,” as he welcomes her inside.
The ad ends with information that “108,000 children are in the U.K.’s care system.”
In the United States, according to a 2021 report by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 391,000 children are in foster care.
In 2020, John Lewis & Partners sponsored a pandemic inspired commercial about kindness titled, “Give a Little Love.” Their 2019 commercial featured “Edgar, the Dragon” who struggled to keep his fire-breathing excitement from ruining Christmas festivities until his friend helped him learn to channel it to good use.
Last year, their ad featured a young boy who encounters a crashed spaceship and a stranded alien girl in the forest. He introduces her to Christmas and they forge a forever friendship in “The Unexpected Guest.“
It’s a beautiful act of generosity to highlight the needs of foster children at the holidays. It’s good for all of us to contact local agencies involved with children and families in crisis to ask how we can help.
Focus on the Family published this article about How to Make the Holidays Meaningful and Enjoyable for Kids in Foster Care. The good news is that you don’t have to bang up your knees or learn to skateboard.
Simply including foster children in your celebrations is a start. Providing a safe haven where they can experience the holidays with the expected mix of happiness and sadness that occurs when you’re not home or with family during Christmas is a gift in itself.
At the very least, may these beautiful commercials remind us all to pray for those children separated from their parents at Christmas.