I, like many I’m sure, eagerly anticipated the new John Lewis/Waitrose Christmas 2019. For me, the digital unveiling of the advert marks the start of the Christmas season and festivities ahead. Many of the previous adverts have captured my heart. This year is no different. We meet Edgar, the excitable dragon who struggles to fit in, as well as his friend Ava. Edgar tries to fit in and wants to get involved in the activities Ava enjoys such as ice skating, seeing the town’s Christmas lights switch on but we see time after time, despite his best intentions it goes wrong, until Ava is able to find a way to include him, without changing him.
I take so much joy and sadness from this advert. It is touching whilst also being very funny. It is set in olden days, yet the characters are more relevant than ever in current times. It is touching to see Edgar, who just cannot contain his excitement but deeply sad when he ends up disappointing himself and others. He is an adorable dragon with the best intentions, who can’t help doing what he was made to do – breathe fire!
It got me thinking – surely Edgar is just like any of us at Christmas, particularly children. The magic of the build up to Christmas and growing anticipation can be hard for children to contain. On the day, they may be overwhelmed with excitement and unable to contain their emotions. They can be grumpy. They can be naughty. They can be upset. They can be disappointed. They can also be sad. Every one of us has the potential to be an Edgar at Christmas. We want to enjoy it and be involved but often it doesn’t go as we hope. It isn’t perfect like the Christmas adverts show us.
It can be overwhelming for the clients I work with who are struggling to come to terms with perhaps a Christmas without their loved ones or their children. Underlying conflict can come to the surface. This can be difficult to contain.
So my message as I sign off for Christmas is simply let’s be kind to ourselves and to each other during the festive period. Let’s support the Ava’s in this world who realised that the best way to help Edgar is to find a way to involve him, in a way he can manage without trying to change him. Let’s try and offer patience and acceptance. Let’s understand that emotions come and go. Let them flow and take time to find acceptance in things just the way they are in this moment in time. I believe this is the best way to seek peace at Christmas time and beyond if you are in any way struggling with what life is throwing your way.
Sending best wishes to you and those around you at Christmas.