You all know that there is nothing I love so much as a good cry, a good soul-purging sob over something beautiful and touching. The other night I decided that I was in need of just such a cry, and so when James came back from brushing his teeth, I was curled in the bed SOBBING big ugly tears… because I had started watching Christmas commercials and once you start, you just can’t stop. I love them, those commercials that make your throat catch and big tears well up. They instantly make me want to buy whatever they are selling and they remind me that the best commercial is like a perfect short film.
Like this one, where Mog the cat reminds us that Christmas is about everyone coming and giving up their oranges, Little Women style, so that those who have little, can have a part in whatever bounty we have. Because community, especially at Christmas, makes me cry.
Or this one, where you just think that you have another punk youth on your hands, another kid more interested in screen-time than real life. And then you find out that he was speaking his love for his family in the way he knew best and those tears start flowing. Because people recognizing the value of family, especially at Christmas, makes me cry.
Or this one, where Microsoft reminds us that Apple doesn’t have the monopoly on emotion, and that Christmas is a time for forgiving. Everyone starts singing about peace on earth and I just can’t hold it in. Because collective outpourings of song, especially at Christmas, makes me cry.
Or this one, where I didn’t exactly know what was happening because it was in German and my own is shabby and barely functional at best. But I gathered that the old man faked his death to gather all his children at his side once more. And I know that I should be annoyed that he lied to get them to fly from all over the world, but it’s hard to be mad when your heart is flowing out your eyes in salty tears. Because parents doing anything to bring children back, especially at Christmas, makes me cry. (And I found you all one with subtitles, so you can be less lost than I was.)
Or this one, that I watched until I was sobbing so hysterically that I couldn’t form words. Like, if you aren’t moved by this, you might want to have someone cut open your chest and see if there is a beating heart or just a cold dead fish masquerading as a soul. Old people alone are too much for my heart. And when Christmas becomes a catalyst for spontaneous acts to do something for the suffering of someone else — I will cry every last time. Because gifts extended with no expectation in return, especially at Christmas, make me cry.
Because that’s the essence of Christmas. Christmas is about a baby who came to start the most perfect community, to make us part of his family, to let there be peace on earth. It’s about a father who goes to great lengths to reconcile his children back to him, and the greatest gift given. And so somehow, all these commercials that have nothing overtly to do with Christ, manage to point to the heart of Christmas. And I remember that and I cry.
So do feel free to pass any more crying commercials my way. They are my favorite.