Holiday Genre: Time to Forgive

 

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Another typical German Christmas tradition we usually see during the holiday season are the commercials. Using special themes that connect Christmas with family and love, store chains produce scenes that bring family and friends together, following the events that happened during the year as well as basing some of them on personal experiences of people working there.

Two commercials come to mind that were televised during the holiday season, both of whom focused on the theme of forgiveness. Forgiveness of the sins committed against family, friends and even mankind. Forgiveness which means starting over again and mending the ties that were ripped apart because of war and conflict that didn’t need to happen but it did.  Forgiveness which means loving again.

In the first holiday commercial, forgiveness meant reestablishing a bond between a parent and a child. In this one, produced by the German grocery chain Penny, the mother seeks out to her daughter, years after they had a fall-out during the daughter’s pregnancy. The mother’s journey was like a walk in the woods- meeting obstacles that were as painful as it was recalling the memories of the two together. The end result is not what is expected except that they both came home:

 

In the second commercial, the scene took place in the future, where artificial intelligence invaded mankind and chased the humans away into forests and other dugouts. While the three-legged machines looked for other natural life forms- most likely to kill off, one of the robots discovered the holiday the humans had been celebrating after coming across first a poster of a show entitled “Wonderful Christmas” and then a Christmas tree and pieced together how the celebration took shape. While reenacting the scene with manequins didn’t function, the robot sought human life to better understand their life, taking with it, the Christmas star to give to the family that it found. In the end, the grocery chain Edeka offered the viewers a glimpse of how two groups can come together:

While the theme forgiveness was clearly in connection with events that have unfolded since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017- name any conflict, because he had his hand in the apple pie- it showed how conflicts can permanently damage a relationship in ways the parties cannot comprehend until years later, when it is all too late. When Siegmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minster mentioned in an interview that Germany was breaking off ties with the US on foreign policy, it had to do with conflicts between both countries on virtually everything, combined with accusations (mostly were considered fake) and the unwillingness to compromise. The damage has, according to Gabriel, become irreversible that it may be impossible to mend ties, even after Trump leaves office. Other countries have also expressed concern that America will be so isolated that it will become something like in the commercials above. But perhaps this wake-up call is needed in order to come to terms and realize that we need to work together and forget about our egos or even our nostalgia.

Maybe by looking at the commercials we can come to terms and try and forgive, regardless of how long it takes. ❤

 

fLfI WINTER

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Genre of the Week: How to Bring Family Home for Christmas

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What would it take to bring everyone home for Christmas? What would you do to make it happen? How far would you go in order to bring home everyone you love so that you can see them again? And tell them that you love them?

I remember back in 2007, when my grandma died, we were in the process of planning our trip to the States for Christmas and we had booked our tickets when I got the bad news from my father on the telephone. We had last celebrated with her in 1998 but I remembered all of the festivities she had at her place- and especially her food.  Her passing was even a bigger incentive for us to fly over and see the family again. And the celebration was the grandest: many people, lots of memories and a very loving atmosphere. ❤ Christmas for me is having family and friends with, to have the best times together, do the craziest things you did in your childhood, and sharing a lot of memories of the past and things for the future. It does not matter how much money you earn or how many gifts you receive. It is the people you love that count the most. 🙂

And this takes us to this week’s special genre and the man’s attempt to bring his children home for the holidays. The man in his 80s was celebrating Christmas all by himself, because his children were away. He was a widower, having lost his wife earlier, but the notion of not seeing his children over the holidays- again- was too much to bear. Therefore, he does the unthinkable by “being dead,” and see what happens as you watch the ad:

The advertisement has received mixed reviews from viewers and critics alike. It does represent gloominess and sadness, all of which belong to the category of loneliness. Many people in this world spend their Christmases alone with no one to share the holidays with. Part of that has to do with not having any family near them, or even friends. This was something that the German grocery store chain EDEKA and its advertising agency Jung von Matt were addressing in this clip. Their main theme is family and the importance of having them for Christmas, although the idea behind it may be a bit unorthodox at first. But when watching it, it does hit home for the viewer, as sometimes watching something like this brings back memories of the times together at Christmas with the loved ones.

For those who think that Christmas is nothing more than just presents and “happy-happy-joy-joy,” then I would suggest having a look at the other side of Christmas and ask yourselves, is this the Christmas you or someone you know want- the one who is lonely. If not, try something to make the person happy.  Every bit of kindness makes a big difference, big and small.

And while other ads have been receiving many accolades, including one to be presented soon, this one will definitely outclick the competition before the holidays because of its geniuness and the way the theme is addressed without having to market the products directly. It has already received the Files’ seal of approval and it is hoped that other countries will air that on TV and online soon, so that the issue of Christmas and family are addressed.

And with that, I would like to close with a quote: Christmas means fun, friends, and family; It means laughter and love; It also means its richness- richness in our own hearts when we are thankful with who we have and not what we have.

Think about it. 🙂 ❤

merry christmas

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