The holidays are a time to gather family, stuff yourself with hearty seasonal food and then veg out in front of the TV for Christmas specials and classic movies.
In between all the quality content there are plenty of quality commercials to enjoy too.
Over the years, a number of December ads have stood out among the pack, churning up overwhelming seasonal feels. Here are the best holiday commercials of all time.
Peter Comes Home in a Folgers Ad
Easily one of the most recognizable holiday advertisements, this 1985 classic spot tells the story of a son who comes home for Christmas only to find the whole house asleep except for (we presume) his little sister. The duo wake up the whole house by brewing some fragrant coffee. It’s the perfect reminder that plenty of caffeine is the key to a happy, harmonious family holiday.
The M&M’s Guys Meet Santa
“He does exist.” “They do exist.” These lines will be burned into the brains of countless TV-addled millennials for years after this M&M’s ad played nonstop during the ‘90s. Considering that M&M’s commercials generally rank pretty high, to say this one tops the list is a ringing endorsement.
John Lewis Makes Everyone Cry with 'The Man on the Moon'
If you want to weep in front of your loved ones, just boot up a John Lewis Christmas ad. The British department store is infamous for producing holiday ads that hit right viewers right in the heart. You could pick any of the store’s famed ads for this list, but the “Man on the Moon” is a crowd favorite for its plucky protagonist and heartfelt message of holiday care.
Coca Cola Christmas Bears
For sheer iconic imagery, look no further than the Coke Christmas polar bears. While the bears appear in print and on the screen nearly every year, it’s hard not to love this ad featuring this icy party between the bears and some fun-loving penguins.
Hershey’s Kisses have been ringing out “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” since 1989. At just 15 seconds, the ad is simple, effective and irresistible. It’s a timeless ad that viewers happily watch year after year.
Coca Cola’s Hilltop Chorus
Coke has clearly mastered the Christmas advert so they deserve two spots on this list. The hilltop chorus in this mid-70s ad revives the famous 1971 “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” summer campaign with a wintery twist, as the candlelit singers form a massive Christmas tree.
Campbell’s Soup Melts a Snowman (and Hearts)
Soup is rarely described as iconic, but the Campbell's commercial from the winter of ‘93 could easily qualify as a quintessential holiday ad. The soup manages to melt a snowman back into a hungry child, and there has never been a better argument for a steaming bowl around the icy season.