Well okay, no it’s not. Not really. But the lights are on along Oxford Street, Starbucks have got their red cups out again, and Elf the Musical’s just opened in the West End.
And in case there was any doubt left, today John Lewis released their Christmas ad.
For readers not in the UK, let me explain. John Lewis is a department store, known – more so than anything else these days – for its festive ad campaign. (Well, that and the poor guy called John Lewis who keeps getting their tweets.) The ad release is always a much-hyped occasion, and this year was no exception; it’s been the top trending topic on Twitter all day, and I even saw an article earlier about ‘celebrity reactions to the John Lewis ad’. Apparently Tom from McFly is very excited that they’ve combined Christmas and space. So that’s good to know.
And so, in honour of this great day, I spent my lunch break watching the back catalogue of John Lewis Christmas ads, in order to bring you my top 5. I’m now emotionally spent. You’re welcome.
Sweet Child of Mine (2009)
This probably isn’t one many people remember (I know I didn’t) because it came all the way back in 2009, before John Lewis discovered the magic formula of telling a story and making people cry. But it makes me smile – mostly because I have a tendency to turn into a bit of a child myself at Christmas. And I quite like the folky version of Guns N’ Roses too…
The Journey (2012)
In which a snowman embarks on a perilous adventure into the city to buy a scarf for his girlfriend. Never mind that she’s made of snow, and therefore buying her something that’s going to warm her up is probably a bad idea – it’s a cute story, with romance, danger and a bit of humour, and it does give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
The Long Wait (2011)
This is the first John Lewis ad I remember, because it was the first one that really caused a sensation. In it, a cute little boy can’t wait for Christmas to come… but only because he’s excited about giving his parents their gift. A bit sugary sweet, maybe, but it’s a nice twist that makes the ad memorable and tugs on the heartstrings.
Man on the Moon (2015)
I have many questions about this year’s offering. Who is the man on the moon? How did he get there? How amazing is that little girl’s telescope that she can so easily spot him? And how did she afford that expensive gift?
But all these puzzlements aside, I really like this year’s ad, and it might possibly have brought a tear to my eye. Just a little one. (And the people making jokes about Jimmy Savile make me sad.)
Monty the Penguin (2014)
I’m fairly sure that unless next year’s ad features Gleb from Strictly (don’t watch Strictly? Google him, and thank me later) holding a baby panda and a tiger cub*, the 2014 ad is going to remain my favourite for the foreseeable future. Because it has a penguin, and penguins are adorable.
* By the way, John Lewis, if you’re reading – I’m totally on board with this idea.
If you’re wondering what happened to The Bear and the Hare, they didn’t make the cut. As a big fan of sleep, I can’t agree with the idea that a good friend is someone who drags you out of your cosy bed and into the cold, even for a special occasion; doing that to me is a good way to get struck off the Christmas card list.
What’s your favourite John Lewis ad? Did you cry watching The Man on the Moon? Or do you think it’s all a load of unnecessary fuss?
Either way – it looks like Christmas is definitely upon us, so we might as well just go with it.