Note 56: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...
... as British holiday ads played all through the house.
First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy Holidays to the imaginary people whose knickers get knotted when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas.
As is clear from this late Note, I’ve been off my posting schedule for the past few months and getting back on-tempo is one of my New Year’s resolutions. It’s been a busy month, and I just finished up my last Christmas chore earlier this afternoon. (That’s actually a fib, as I still have letters and cards to write and send, but given the late date, those remaining have been designated Holiday Cards instead of Christmas Cards.)
In terms of things tracked here, I have ten more books to read before hitting my 2021 goal of One Hundred Books read, and I have a couple of novels and several graphic novels selected that should allow me to close out the year on time. Earlier in the month, I crammed all the Harry Potter books into my head in order to study for a bar trivia night (How big of a nerd does that make me?) and I’m glad I’m now culturally literate about the Wizarding World. For those asking which House I’d like to join, I think I’d make a very solid Ravenclaw.
In addition to Harry Potter, I also finished up the last entry in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, and I’m happy to report that final volume stuck the landing for the crew of our favorite salvaged Martian light frigate, the Rocinante.
I’m still watching the Amazon series go through its final season and will be sad to see that go. That said, there are still plenty of stories to be told in that universe, and I expect to revisit it again in the form of short stories in the future.
As for the rest of the year, I’m planning on finishing up the reading challenge with a couple of F. Paul Wilson novels that are auxiliary tales in his The Secret History of the World by wrapping up the final two books in The ICE Sequence. Given that I finished 2019’s challenge with a Repairman Jack novel, The Last Christmas, ending the year with a little bit of Secret History seems to have become a tradition.
I have some updates on my Rocket Stocks, but will save those notes until the New Year, once trading resumes and 2022 shapes up to be a very consequential year for that portfolio.
That all said, on to the main event!
Best British Christmas Ads, 2021 Edition
Last year, I shared one of my favorite holiday traditions, which is watching British Christmas ads the same way many get sucked into each year’s Super Bowl ads. Ever since I saw Sainsbury’s reenactment of the Christmas Truce of 1914 years ago, I always leave some room in my calendar to see what each holiday season brings us.
Here are my favorites for this year, in no particular order.
This one really hit me when thinking of all the “normal” stuff kids who are growing up through COVID are missing. As an adult, it’s not a big deal to celebrate the holidays in a more constrained manner - we have plenty of unconstrained ones to remember - but COVID’s going to be a much formative epoch in their lives that we, as adults, will never be able to appreciate to its fullest extent.
I appreciate the production values that went into this one, and it’s a great example of these ads not just promoting a store or some products, but telling a short story set to music that seems to be a distinctly British competency. (The Moffat era of Doctor Who excelled at this.)
Another great example of music being used to tell a solid short story from the storytelling wizards at Disney.
I don’t know why McDonald’s insists on saving their best stuff for the UK.
Glad to know I’m not the only one buying birdseed online.
This one was just fun.
Kevin the Carrot is back once more with plenty of punny goodness.
Not so much story in this one, but I agree with the ad’s protagonist 100%.
This one made the list because it’s so damn weird.
A very solid entry by the inventors of modern Christmas.
And my favorite of 2021, it seems that this one aired last year as an alternative for John Lewis, BUT didn’t make my list for reasons that escape me. I’m going to pretend that it’s still airing this year, which would make it eligible for inclusion:
So, that’s my list for this year. Looking forward to checking in next year to see what 2022 brings us.
I don’t have any plans for any new posts until the New Year (too much reading to do instead of things to talk about), but have a Merry Christmas each and every one of you.