And you thought Pixar movies liked to tug at the heartstrings. Pfft. Sorry, computer animation film studio giant but you have nothing on German supermarket chain EDEKA. Their latest Christmas ad features an elderly gentleman — who, coincidentally, looks a lot like delightful curmudgeon Carl Fredricksen. But unlike Up‘s grumpy-pants, there’s no adorable scout knocking on the man’s door, demanding his time.
In fact, his life couldn’t be any more different. The ad starts with the old man coming home from a walk to find a voicemail from his daughter on the answering machine, informing him that they aren’t able to make it for Christmas this year. Which is sad enough, right? But watching him listen to the message as he proudly puts up his daughter’s family Christmas card on the mantle will devastate you.
“We’ll try again next year. It’ll work out, I promise. Merry Christmas, Daddy,” the message concludes before the phone cuts out. Gah!
We then watch as the man makes and eats Christmas dinner by himself, year after year. There are no words.
Fast-forward to presumably years after that first call we witnessed and we see his many children, all in different places around the world. Receiving obituaries and phone calls. Good grief. The message is dark but hard-hitting: there will be no more opportunities to have a holiday dinner with Dad/Grandpa.
The bereft children come together for his memorial, but when they step inside the family home, they get the shock of their life. And what happens next is probably the last thing you would expect. Let’s just say the old man’s still got it.
As we get older and have our own families it’s easy to let distance keep you apart from other loved ones. Even if we’re busy, we should at least try to connect in some way. The clip ends with a message that couldn’t kick you harder in the feels: “Time to come home.”
BRB, we’re going to go call our parents now.