The holiday season has only just begun, yet people are already in an uproar over an unlikely grinch: a PayPal commercial.
The advert in question, which was posted onto YouTube on October 30, has been airing on British television and showing a rather grim (or perhaps just more English) version of the holiday celebrated by billions of people each December.
Barren of the usual Christmas cheer, the ad instead features two little boys who are suspect of their parents’ laissez-faire attitude before the holiday. It all begins when one brother breaks the sad news to the other: “Toby, I don’t think we’re getting any Christmas presents this year.” “Have you noticed how mom and dad have been around so much lately? Normally, this time of year, they’re out shopping.”
And just like that, the myth, legend, and enchantment of Santa Claus is defamed and revealed, right on TV where millions of British children can see it. But is it really such a huge deal?
The simple implication that parents buy their children Christmas presents—and that they don’t come from that jolly old elf—have countless scandalized viewers pouring in complaints to PayPal and British TV networks. Some people merely want the commercial banned before 9 PM, others want it taken down completely.
Before you get your knickers in a bunch like the rest of the Isles, do yourself a favor and watch the commercial first. While a little dreary, it is stylistically lovely to watch, and you’ll find yourself quickly wrapped in the cozy and excited feeling that comes about this time of year. Not to mention there’s just something about little children with accents that makes us want to melt.
Is there a slight implication that only the kids’ parents are responsible for Christmas presents? Maybe. Do we see mom and dad coyly making their toy purchases on PayPal instead of elves working their cheery butts off at the North Pole? Perhaps. But by no means is the first time we’ve seen clever, tongue-in-cheek ads suggest that unavoidable adult truth about the holiday.
We’ve seen far worse commercials, TV shows, and specials in the past that questioned the existence of St. Nick much more strongly than this artful ad. Not for nothing, but let’s not give little kids too much credit for being able to read into these things either. I suppose the people that are truly upset over this commercial want the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” to be banned, too.
Regardless, PayPal did the smart thing and released a mea culpa, with a spokeswoman stating, “We just want to take a moment to say we’re sorry that some people have been upset by our new U.K. Christmas TV advert. Our ad aims to take a fun look at those Christmas presents kids know come from their parents, and not in any way say Father Christmas doesn’t also deliver presents to them.”
Decide for yourself whether the magic of Christmas can live on after this, and SHARE with your friends and family to find our their opinion!