Laugh, cry, be inspired: These are the best holiday ads of 2019

Holiday commercials > Super Bowl ads


ORLANDO, Fla. – Some people look forward to Super Bowl ads each year, while others prefer to take a ride on the emotional roller coaster that is television during the holiday season.

We’re not talking about a Hallmark movie marathon either. You can skip that and just watch the commercials for the same experience.

This year’s holiday advertisements will make you cry, or laugh until you cry. Either way, they’re guaranteed to remind you what the holiday season is really all about.

Here are the best ones we’ve seen so far this season:


Every year I wonder what exactly Publix is even advertising because their holiday commercials are so emotional I can’t even figure out what they’re trying to sell me. It must be tissues?

It wouldn’t be the holiday season if I didn’t shed a tear while watching a Publix ad. This year was no different.

The beginning of the commercial is a flashback of a woman who, when she was a little girl, would wake up early Christmas morning and make dessert with her grandma until it was an acceptable time to wake up the rest of the house. You don’t know it’s a flashback until, all of a sudden, it switches to the present and the woman’s young son is downstairs asking her if he can wake people up yet to open presents. The woman replies with the same thing her grandmother used to tell her as an early riser: “I have an idea.” And the baking begins.


I’m sobbing at my desk over this one, but at least I know what Apple is actually trying to sell me.

This commercial features a set of sisters who are visiting their grandfather for the holidays. It’s not too far into the ad that you realize the grandfather recently lost his wife and is having a hard time dealing with the loss. Because he’s not his usual self, the girls’ mother tells the girls to stay because while grandpa is still sad. While “staying busy,” the girls stumble upon some old home videos of their grandparents, including their wedding film. It sparks an idea among the sisters to, with the help of an iPad, put together the most emotional Christmas present ever for their grandfather.

Watch until the end to see grandpa’s tear-jerking reaction to the gift, but not without those tissues you probably just bought from Publix.


A little girl who looks like Boo from “Monsters Inc.” begs her family to build a snowman with her, like Elsa from “Frozen,” but is ignored until two cats show up under the grandfather clock in her house and lead her to a place called “The Time Shop.” There, she finds a man with lots of clocks who teaches her about all types of time: lost time, the kind that flies and, most importantly, together time. The man gives her a gift to bring back to her family. After her mom, dad and brother open it, the entire family is seen making the snowman the girl had just been begging to build. We later see that the “gift” was a card offering one hour together to make the best snowman ever.

The company actually provides a link to a site where you can make and gift your own time cards this year, which, if you ask me, is a great idea if you want to do something special for your loved ones but have limited funds.

Chick-fil-A just wants you to give your time to the people you love this year, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you all spent it eating some nuggets and waffle fries.


I feel like it’s impossible not to be in the holiday spirit after watching this year’s Macy’s holiday ad.

The ad, called “Santa Girl,” shows a little girl who is absolutely mesmerized by Santa when she sees him in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In that moment, she decides that’s who she wants to be when she grows up, even telling her classmates about her magical aspiration. One kid, in an attempt to make fun of her, tells her she can’t be Santa because she’s a girl. The comment only fuels her fire and soon, she begins to do everything she can to become more like Santa, even training her dog to be a reindeer. The same boy teases her again later, asking her where her beard was. Her parents see how upset she is after school and decide to use a little magic to bring her dream to life. Long story short, the boy who made fun of her wish was surprised to look out his window and see who was dropping gifts off at his house.


This commercial is the perfect mix of brilliant and adorable.

A little girl sees her mom use her Microsoft tablet to translate Japanese to English in real time. When a reindeer shows up outside her house, she remembers what the technology can do, so she throws on her coat and boots and grabs out before darting outside. Unsure if it will work, she hits a button, asks the reindeer if they can understand her and lets the tablet do its thing by translating her words into whatever language it is that reindeer speak. When they grunt in response to the little girl’s question, the tablet translates it into “yes” for the girl to understand. Now that she knows it works, she grills the reindeer with questions about the magic of Christmas while the tablet is probably working overtime to communicate with the reindeer.

It says at the end of the commercial that the device can communicate in more than 60 languages but reindeer isn’t one of them yet. It didn’t clarify whether dog was one of them, so I may have to try this thing to find out for myself.

Walkers Crisps

Not only is this commercial funny, but you automatically win the holiday season when you land Mariah Carey, the queen of Christmas herself, as your lead.

The Walkers Crisps ad shows the singer taking a break from shooting her music video for “All I Want for Christmas is You” and going to grab a snack. When she and one of Santa’s elves go in for the last bag of chips, they politely go back and forth about who saw it first until she finally belts the highest note possible. The elf, desperate to block his ears from the powerful noise, is forced to let go of the chips. Carey, because you can’t not give at least a little something during the holiday season, shares one chip from the bag before she goes. Unfortunately, a bird swoops in and takes off with that one too. Better luck next year, elfie.

If none of those were for you, don’t worry, the Super Bowl is just around the corner and, as usual, will likely bring a fresh batch of creative commercials with it.

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