This alternative Christmas ad is going viral for a great cause

Every year, we can’t wait to see what different stores are going to do for the holiday season. The norm usually features commercials with upbeat Christmas music, cute kids, puppies, and tons of holiday cheer. (The annual John Lewis Christmas ad is definitely a favorite that always makes us feel a tiny bit better on bad days.)

But while these commercials help us get into the spirit of the season, not everyone will feel cheerful come December. For many, this will be the first Christmas since losing a loved one. Recognizing this, Shape History, a social change company, created a tear-jerking commercial that’s going viral for a great cause. It’s helping raise money for Shooting Star Chase, a children’s hospice charity.

Shape History works to amplify good causes and inspire audiences to take action. So it makes sense that they wanted their Christmas commercial to have a positive impact. Their goal was to provide a platform for people across the U.K. who will be spending their first Christmas this year without a loved one. A very worthy cause, and unfortunately for the company, a very personal one as well.

“Our organisation recently lost a friend at 21 years old due to cancer and having discussed it with those around us, we really wanted to try and support families who are going through something similar,” said Mike Buonaiuto, Executive Director of Shape History, in a press release.

Grab your tissues and watch “#FirstChristmas” below.

The commercial tells the story of a family struggling through the Christmas season after losing a son to cancer. It shows mom, dad, and sister coping with their grief and ultimately coming together.

"Christmas can be a difficult time for those who may no longer have their loved ones around. Retailers are annually pumping budgets of millions into Christmas advertising and it can distract away from the true meaning of the festive period," Buonaiuto continued. "We wanted to essentially hijack that and remind the British public that the festive period is about looking out for the most vulnerable in society and being there for your nearest and dearest."

It’s great to see an organization focus on helping those often overlooked this time of year.

People don’t want to think about sad things around Christmas, but it’s important to remember everyone during the holidays. That’s the true spirit of the season. You can donate to Shooting Star Chase here. All proceeds will go to helping run their two hospices.

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