7 Reasons This is the Best Christmas Ad of the Season
I recently stumbled across a Christmas ad for a company of which I've never heard that told a story about which I've also never heard. I clicked Play and was mesmerized for several minutes and when it ended, I wanted not only to know more, I wanted to share it with others.
Score 1 for the marketing team at Sainsbury, the UK's second-largest supermarket chain.
This ad struck many chords with me, spiritually, relationally and even politically -- all centered around the true meaning of Christmas.
Here are 7 reasons this is the year's best Christmas ad:
1. Seeking Peace Sometimes Requires Faith and Courage.
On both sides, it wasn't the soldier with the highest rank that lead the others and ordered them to step out of the foxhole. It was an average soldier, defying orders, stepping out in faith and with tremendous courage, seeking peace with an enemy.
In war, "courage" is typically displayed when a soldier bravely steps out in the line of fire to battle an enemy. The soldiers in this Sainsbury ad, however, stepped out in the line of fire seeking peace.
2. It Wasn't a Celebration of "Diversity" that Brought Peace.
Politically correct societies bend over backwards to point out and celebrate diversity. The problem with that is it never brings people together -- it only keeps them separated.
This ad demonstrated that while languages are different, food is different, borders are different -- it was what they have in common that brought them together.
3. There is Real Joy in Peace.
When we're at peace with one another, there can be joy. Watch the faces of the soldiers transition from inside the foxhole, not knowing what's going to happen, to how they eventually greet one another with a smile. Then, when all the orders to fight are suspended, the men play, share, find peace and experience joy.
With that said, this ad brought to the forefront of my mind the need to forgive, get past differences and purposefully seek peace.
4. The ad helped me separate foreign policy from the soldier.
We're oftentimes sold the need to go to war on the premise, "it's for our national security" or they'll switch out an important word and tell us how they really feel by saying, "it's for our national interests." As many grow increasingly skeptical of our foreign policy, I find it extremely important to continuing supporting those willing to sacrifice so much.
This ad helped me separate policy from the fighting man. It's at the heart of why I understand folks standing fully in support of our troops, while being against the war or conflict itself. In spite of the stated political policy (passed by those who don't actually do the fighting) to be at war with each other, at the end of the day, these men wanted peace.
In spite of oftentimes opportunistic policy-makers who make decisions with little to no regard of the actual fighting-man on the front lines and the incredible sacrifices they and their families must endure to carry out the mission, this ad demonstrated that the soldier himself wants peace the most.
5. Gratitude should be at the forefront when giving and receiving.
Oftentimes, we can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Is it just me, or do the weeks in between two holidays so rooted in gratitude seem to be specially designed to have us focused on anything but? Do you have a gift for everyone on your list? Have you spent too much money? Have you spent enough? If your family is anything like mine, gratitude toward unexpected gifts is not the problem, but battling expectations about things on our "list" may be. Especially those of us with children are fighting against the materialism so celebrated and admired in our culture.
The soldiers took time away from their crazy surroundings and were grateful for the opportunity to both give and receive something as simple as chocolate.
6. If it wasn't for Christ, They'd have been Shot.
Can you think of another holiday where two enemies, face to face on the battlefield, would start singing together then step out into the line of fire and not fire at each other? Better yet, would any other international holiday cause them to actually shake hands, exchange gifts while laughing and playing in peace?
Had it not been for the birth of Jesus Christ and the celebration continuing for 2,000 years, there is no way this would have happened.
Because of the birth of Christ, "enemies" in fox holes once ordered to kill one another, found peace.
7. This ad embodies Luke 2:14.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Christ is indeed the reason for the season.