Friday, June 21, 2024

Norway’s gay Santa advert is now my favourite Christmas film

Back in November 2015, the film Carol (starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett) was released and millions of gay people everywhere fell in love with this very gay, Christmas movie. Fast forward to November 2021, and now I genuinely think that Norway’s gay Santa advert may just top it for me.

When Harry Met Santa is an advertisement for Posten, the Norwegian postal service, who is using the giving and spiritual time of Christmas to not only show a side of Santa Claus you’ve not seen before, but to celebrate 50 years of Norway decriminalizing homosexuality.

Norway’s choice of expressing this through an advert depicting Santa as gay may seem like an odd choice on the surface, especially if you just see it solely as a way to for organizations and companies to use Christmas in order to appeal to viewers, but I personally feel that the short film is more genuine and kind than that.

If you haven’t watched the advert yet, let me give you a quick summary: we meet Harry, an older gentleman who goes downstairs one night on Christmas Eve to discover that Santa Claus is in his living room. Santa rushes off back up the chimney as Harry looks on. It’s a moment that’s small, but awakens something new in Harry, and the year after he sneaks down the stairs to get another glimpse of the man in red.

This goes on for another year until Santa finally makes himself known to the man, and the two begin to spend time with one another. The twist is that these moments together can only be spent with one another on one night, Christmas Eve. This means that their time together is short, but altogether impactful. Harry eventually realizes he is in love, and that’s when the advert really gives me all the feels with the pining from these two characters.

All in all, it’s an absolutely beautiful advertisement and I can’t express how wonderful it is to see two, elderly gay men get to be in the spotlight in expressing love and care for one another during Christmas time. After all, caring for others is what the holiday is all about.

Of course, there’s always going to be people who find an advertisement expressing love between two men, especially if one is the mythological figure Santa Claus, but who actually gives a damn about what homophobes think? Not when you’ve got this short, but sweet film to highlight the power of love.

Ultimately, what makes me declare the Norway advert about a gay Santa Claus as my new favourite film is that it ticks off all the boxes of what I look for: gay pining, queer protagonists and themes, and a love story that touches my heart. That’s all I ask for, and When Harry Met Santa more than delivered on that, and goes to show how even the smallest of films can reach people at their very core.

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