We all remember the circumstances of our first realization that Santa Claus was not a mythical, jolly creature who slid down a chimney to deliver presents in the dead of the night on Christmas Eve, but instead a tired parent shuffling out of bed in the middle of the night with an armful of hidden gifts. And for most of us, it probably wasn't because we saw an ad that basically said Santa wasn't real — though that's very much the reality for many this year. Yes, in the UK, a holiday ad from Amazon about parents hiding presents for their kids is creating quite the stir, with some parents claiming that seeing the ad revealed to their kids that Santa isn't real.
Sure, you remember the first time you faced the reality of a Santa-less world. The disillusionment was astounding, the shock was real, and every day since has been a few shades less rosy. Being of an age where it's plausible that magic still exists and having room to believe in miracles is beyond sacred. But at some point, we all realize that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and our imaginary friends are just that. It's a part of growing up, it's a rite of passage, and it's a necessary step into the real world. However, that rite of passage generally doesn't happen because you saw a holiday ad meant to be heartwarming.
The ad, as you'll see below, does not implicitly state anything about Santa — though it does suggest, that a sneaky parent is responsible for getting the gifts under the tree, which is where some parents claim the issue lies.
The short video has inspired a lot of opinions in the last few days, creating an international debate over the nature of the advertisement. Does it dispute the existence of Santa? Or is it just a cute commercial featuring a dad who does't want his kids to see all the gifts he ordered them? I've watched it a dozen times and personally don't see the issue, but you know anything that has to do with Christmas is bound to conjure a few voices. People are very protective over the holiday. Here are some highlights from the Twitter debate:
Should Christmas commercials only be played at nighttime, when parents are watching and children are in bed? Is that the companies responsibility to protect children from wondering about where gifts come from?
Someone Needs To Tell Her...
Sounds like she's personally offended by the news that Santa isn't real.
A New Story
Who knows, maybe today's kids would like the idea of Amazon being responsible for their Christmas presents. It's just as intangible as a mythic character is. What is Amazon, other that the spirit of gifts, at least according to a child.?
Some people think it's Amazon's responsibility to at least mention Santa — but what if they just want to appeal to all holiday celebrations and they've avoided Santa for much less malicious reasons?
Well, This Is Harsh
Harsh reactions are abound. Does Santa really need to be in the ad? Does Santa shop at Amazon?
Isn't it possible that perhaps this ad is not intended for children, and made only to show parents how easy it is to get their kids presents with Amazon? It doesn't clearly state anything about Santa, so it won't necessarily even register with children. If I saw that ad when I was a kid, it would probably go right over my head.