- Holidays and Celebrations
The Magic of Christmas Commercials
Are classic Christmas commercials meaningful to you?
One of my favorite topics...
Christmas is undoubtedly one of my favorite things in the world. For as long as I can remember, Christmas in my family has been a time of happiness, magic, togetherness, excitement and love. Because of this, I tend to try to make the holiday season last as long as I can once Thanksgiving ends (just recently I realized that keeping my Christmas tree up too long can invite spiders to make a home).
One of my family's Christmas traditions has been to watch the Christmas television recordings my mom taped on VHS when we were teeny children in the 1990s. We would sit down and watch the cartoons "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Garfield Christmas Special", "Mickey's Christmas Carol", "Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales", and even specials with Winnie the Pooh and other favorite cartoon characters (somehow "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story" never made it into our regular holiday repertoire...). I know that Christmas wouldn't be the same if I didn't get a chance to watch these beloved television specials. A lot of these are difficult to find and purchase, and some of them I can't find online or anywhere, so my mother's recordings are even more valuable to me.
Earlier this year, I took these VHS tapes from my parents' house with the intention of getting them converted onto a DVD so they would last longer. Unfortunately, my car was broken into and I believe these tapes were stolen. I searched all over for the set of VHS tapes with the names of my favorite specials scribbled on the side in my mother's handwriting. They have not yet been recovered.
I grew desperate to replace them and was able to find many of them online on DVD to supplement what I already owned. While I felt better, however, I was not completely consoled, and it didn't take long for me to realize why.
The television commercials had grown to be a part of my Christmas experience.
Between each Christmas special were holiday commercials that I can remember and treasure. They signify much more to me than product marketing - they remind me of the times of my childhood holidays in the '90s, when the toys were simpler and when the times were simpler, when the commercial breaks were shorter, when things seemed more innocent. My favorite commercials I will remember forever, including ads for McDonalds, Coca-Cola, M&Ms, and more. Even the tunes from the intros to my favorite holiday specials have become ingrained in my head over the years. It came to the point where I could tell which commercial it would be just by hearing the first few seconds.
McDonalds - Ice Skating
Coca-Cola - "Dad, It's Santa!"
M&M's - "They Do Exist!"
7-Up and Gameboy
Compilation of Christmas Commercials
Where could I find these commercials?
The question then became, where could I find the commercials in a form that I could keep and replay each Christmas season? I couldn't think of anyone else who had these commercials recorded and posted on craigslist. I was devastated until I did a Google search... and realized I am not alone.
Apparently others have a place in their heart for these commercials, as it didn't take long to find them scattered around Google searches and YouTube. Before long I was able to again watch Ronald McDonald helping the little boy skate across the frozen pond, the boy at the gas station see Santa before his eyes at the gas station as he grasped a Coke, and the red M&M faint simultaneously with Santa as they realized "they do exist!" Thank goodness for all of the people who posted these videos - I am forever grateful.
I don't know if you believe in Christmas or if you treasure these commercials like I do, but I wanted to share a few of them with you here. I am totally willing to break my rule of saving Christmas cheer until Christmastime in this instance. Enjoy!
UPDATE: My mother and I found the tapes and I was able to convert them to DVD. I made several copies so I could be sure that my family and I could watch the specials over and over again!
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