Fuck it, John Lewis, Christmas isn’t meant to be miserable. I don’t want to cry at Christmas. I want to be cheerful. Christmas is the one time in the year when you can just do whatever the fuck you want, see the people you love, get drunk and watch shit films on television while falling asleep into a box of Milk Tray. It is a FUN thing. Noddy Holder. Tinsel. Sprout farts. Joy!
When did it begin, this “pulling at the heart strings with a pair of pliers”, this “nailgun to the tearducts“, this desire to make you bawl your eyes out rather than eat, drink and be merry? I am not quite sure, but over the past couple of years, there’s been an awful lot of it. Too much. Acousticising cover versions of songs that were all right to begin with, then making them glurge. CRY, CRY YOU BASTARD CRY. THIS IS SAD. BE SAD. CRY OR YOU ARE HEARTLESS SCUM. Advert breaks are turning into those text-on-a-picture crocks of shit you see on Facebook that say “Like this if you think mums are nice and children should die – if you ignore this, you want kids to be raped”.
This tweemongering sack of shit has to stop.
This is what a Christmas TV advert should be like. It’s Joe Brown, of “Joe Brown and the Bruvvers” fame, wandering round Woolworths and singing a jolly tune. There are MEN doing a CONGA in sensible knitwear. There are cassette tapes. There’s big value Quality Street in a jar – Hoorah. Old Spice Gift Pack… (£3.25)… that can’t be bad! (Pity the poor dad who ended up with that.) (Sorry dad.)
Actually I think a lot of the joy of Christmas fucked off when Woolworths left the High Street. I’m not saying Woolworths was ever good, but at least they pulled out all the stops in the run-up to Winterval. Those of a slightly older vintage might enjoy this 1970s effort with some wonderful stars of the era… Magnus Pike! Cuddly Ken Everett! Jimmy Young! Tremendous. These were the days when men could only wear two types of aftershave… Denim or Old Spice. Sure, we had beige ties and no money and the power was off and everyone was on strike, but we were HAPPY AT CHRISTMAS. We had Wizzard and turkey crowns.
Here’s Bob Carolgees (0:38) describing the time he won a turkey the size of a Mini Metro in a raffle to flog some Hellman’s mayonnaise. Again, you’re not going to have to reach for a hanky, but fucking hell, at least they’re trying to make you have some fun rather than blub and heave. Good.
Wonderful. Fuck spending eleventy billion pounds sending someone with a melty face down a manhole so she can wander around in her pants to find a lost dog and meet Helena Bonham Carter (Paddington Bear face at Marks and Spencer). Just show me some things I might want to buy surrounded by tinsel and some minor celebrities. That will do, you know? I don’t want to cry.
Thankfully, I have managed to find one contemporary Christmas advert that isn’t a slap round the face with a tear-soaked hanky: Ant and Dec advertising Morrisons!
See, they’re HAVING FUN, they’re not trying to MAKE YOU CRY. Fuck crying at Christmas, give me a cheerful Geordie decapitating a gingerbread man. That’s a bit more like it.