I am not sure who told Chevrolet that what we really needed this Christmas was to ugly cry over an ad they produced for the holidays, but whoever it was needs to go sit in the corner and think about what they’ve done.
You may have seen the shortened version of this ad, titled “Holiday Ride,” on TV. But you don’t get the full emotional impact without seeing the extended four-minute version, which is a tear-jerker and hit me harder than listening to my child ask me why Mufasa wasn’t waking up.
All the jokes aside, this ad is possibly one of the most needed and uplifting messages of the Christmas season — a season in one of the toughest years Americans have faced. Still reeling from COVID-19 and an economic collapse, we have watched as division and partisanship grew, the negative media coverage got worse, people were unable to get back to work, and inflation and shortages have had families struggling.
And this is all on the heels of a divisive presidential election and a pandemic that has taken our family members and loved ones and kept us separated for (in some cases) over a year.
At a time when all this is going on, this Chevy commercial comes out. It is a message about remembering loved ones and spending the time we have with them. It is, at its heart, a secular but great reminder that this time of year is about our families.
Here, you have a man who appears to have recently lost his wife. In an old barn is her old convertible, covered in dust and clearly unused. It’s an emotional moment as the memories flood back. His daughter sees that he’s struggling, so she goes to their small town auto repair shop and asks for help. They sneak in one night, load up the car, and then restore it. The dad sees the restored car, gets emotional, and drives up to his daughter, who begins to cry as she says “It’s what mom would’ve wanted.”
And it’s at that point that you’ll feel that familiar tingle in your eye, if you haven’t already.
A man lovingly remembers his wife. A daughter sees a father struggling. A community comes together to help one of their own. And an emotional reunion. Also, a dog.
We are a little over week away from Christmas, and now more than ever, we need to stop and remember what’s most important. Yes, we have political battles to fight. But for a few moments, let’s also remember that our families need us for more than fighting those battles. They need us to just be there for and with them.