Everyone, it seems, has some sort of opinion on the John Lewis Christmas ad. It’s a bit “Marmite” – you either love it, or hate it. For those of you who may not have seen it…
Personally, I enjoyed it. I liked the ending – that the boy who had been bursting with excitement as he waited for Christmas Day was just dying to take Mum and Dad his gift to them.
I don’t want to join the cynics – I want to celebrate the fact that Christmas is about giving, not getting. That there is real joy in showing your love to somebody else.
OK, so it is a white, middle-class, relatively affluent family – but presumably JL are advertising to their customer base, many of whom fall into that category.
But the sentiment behind the ad holds true for any family, surely?
Years ago, when I was busy inspecting and registering Playgroups, I had a work colleague who always got Very Cross when she went into a P/G where the children were encouraged to ‘paint a picture to take home for Mummy’. She maintained that giving was not a natural instinct, and we should not make these tots ‘feel obligated to try and gain affection with gifts’ – and the P/G leaders were teaching the wrong thing. I said I didn’t think that was the reasoning behind it at all. You paint the picture to show Mummy you love her, not to make her love you?
Furthermore, I believe I have been made in the image of a gracious, generous giving God, so I believe that He has given me the desire to give to others. Giving is a good, God-given part of human nature.
I still treasure some little notes and cards and trinkets which the girls have given me since their earliest years. Presents, maybe not valuable in monetary terms, but infinitely more precious because of the love and thought that went into them.
I should say at this point that whilst I did enjoy the JL advert, I am unlikely to buy any of my Christmas fripperies in their sparkling, but expensive, emporium this year. Lack of Supply Teaching, coupled with imminent Car Tax and MOT bills mean we may well be dining on Mrs Beeton’s Economy Toast Sandwiches soon [see here and here!]
But that’s fine - you already know how much I love toast!