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Post Christmas Diversions
Christmas requires both a fair amount of adrenaline and a firm suspension in belief. If you have read previous KD posts, you know I love all its preparation, celebration, music, lights and decor. And after it arrives, I particularly love my peace and quiet and delight in the things that do not require physical movement or critical thinking. No need for me to be bludgeoned by newscasts or public service announcements. Leftover food and drink from the fridge are just dandy. Books can be diverting, but are not allowed to be thought provoking, such as a novel by Edward Tanner (look up Patrick Dennis) or a Regency one by Georgette Heyer – both authors were some of the most widely read in the 20th century, which I find comforting. Films should stay on the light side. Two of my favorites are still The Biggest Little Farm and Mostly Martha.
The Softest Sell
And as a life-long retailer, although retired, I still savor the creativity behind marketing. The video created by Match.com in the traumatic year of Covid (which, if you have forgotten, was 2020) remains a favorite of mine. One should consider also some produced by one of the nicest and customer friendly department stores I have ever frequented – no it is not Macy’s or Harrods, but rather John Lewis in London. Not only do they carry really good quality products, but their customer service is also outstanding. Perhaps it is because it is employee-owned, with an impressive workforce of 80,000, according to their partnership program. The company also currently owns Waitrose, an equally good grocery store chain that I wish had come to the US.
I don’t know how the John Lewis Christmas advert campaign came about, but their annual videos started appearing in 2007, with a very simple but clever one in which a shadow is created with gift items, and then the shadow becomes something else. Always unusual in concept and relentlessly sentimental (which is perfect for me by the end of December) with some readjusted existing music or song that is not the usual yuletide carol, these videos have become a harbinger for the Christmas season in the UK. This year’s version was a fantasy Christmas around a Venus Flytrap, something that really appealed to me, as I was intrigued by them as a child and even did a Science Fair project with them. I did not win any prizes, but I sure wish I had invented this video.
Having watched a baker’s dozen, I think my favorite of all the John Lewis Adverts is this one, as it captured the belief that all children have that their stuffed animals have lives and feelings. This one with Monty the Penguin appeared in 2014.
But my all-time favorite is from the e-commerce platform, Allegro, which appeared in 2016 in Poland. It has a touching relevance for us, as I live with a particular Nonno who, while he is fluent in the language of his English grandson, is trying to learn the language of his Italian one.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.