‘Well done for not going woke!: John Lewis’ Christmas advert is branded a ‘breath of fresh air’

‘Well done for not going woke!: John Lewis’ Christmas advert is branded a ‘breath of fresh air’

‘Well done for not going woke!’ John Lewis’ Christmas advert is branded a ‘breath of fresh air’ as viewers are left in floods of tears over clip which shows father learning to skateboard to bond with his foster daughter

  • Viewers have been going wild over the new John Lewis advert, branding it ‘a breath of fresh air’  
  • British retailer John Lewis & Partners has released yet another tear-jerking Christmas advert 
  • The festive clip tells the story of a foster father learning to skateboard in the run-up to the holidays  
  • Viewers discover he is learning the skill to impress foster child Ellie, who is spending Christmas with him

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Viewers have been left in floods of tears over John Lewis hotly anticipated Christmas advert – with many saying it is ‘a breath of fresh air’ after years of ‘woke‘ clips.

The heartwarming festive clip, which will debut during I’m a Celeb later this evening, is titled ‘The Beginner’ and tells the story of a foster father learning to skateboard in the run-up to Christmas. 

The hapless skater collects many bruises and scrapes along the way, but perseveres with his new hobby – even doing homework by watching skating tutorials at work. 

When Christmas Day comes around, it’s finally revealed that the character has been training in order to impress the foster child, Ellie, who is coming to stay with him and his wife over the holidays. She’s welcomed into their home clutching a skateboard – bedecked with stickers – close to her chest.

And appropriately, the ad is set to a slow rendition of skater-pop anthem Blink-182’s ‘All The Small Things’ – a more upbeat choice than the ballads usually selected. 

Following its release, many viewers have been going wild over the clip, with one writing: ‘Ahh a breath of fresh air not a woke advert for 1st time in years John Lewis advertising to the 89 per cent of the country for a change.’

Meanwhile another commented: ‘Thank God they haven’t gone down the predictable woke route this year well done.’

Last year the British retailer’s festive advert divided opinion. The two-minute film featured a young boy introducing an alien to Christmas traditions, before she departs back to her home planet, but some complained the clip lacked ‘any Christmas emotion’. 

Viewers have been left in floods of tears over John Lewis hotly anticipated Christmas advert – with many saying it is ‘a breath of fresh air’ after years of ‘woke’ clips 

Another wrote: ‘Teared up so much watching the John Lewis Christmas advert, my phones facial recognition technology doesn’t recognise my face.

‘Big up care leavers and those still navigating their way through the system.’ 

A fourth commented: ‘Okay John Lewis, you got me this year, I’m crying and even that Blink 182 cover is quite good.’ 

A fifth added: ‘The John Lewis Christmas advert just came out of NOWHERE with that sucker punch! Incredibly well done as always, very sweet, but I’m absolutely a John Lewis casualty. 

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Following its release online, many viewers have been going wild over the clip, with one writing the advert is 'a breath of fresh air'

Following its release online, many viewers have been going wild over the clip, with one writing the advert is ‘a breath of fresh air’ 

John Lewis created the heartfelt advert in tandem with its ‘Building Happier Futures’ programme from the John Lewis Partnership, a long-term commitment to help young people in the care system in a number of ways. 

The advert begins with the middle-aged man in the kitchen with his wife, who is heard on the phone saying ‘we are very excited.’ 

Viewers then see him train relentlessly trying – and failing – to learn several skateboarding tricks. 

In parallel, the man and his wife can be seen preparing for the holidays by getting their Christmas tree and decorating their house. 

As his training continues, the man faces more scratches and falls. 

The heartwarming festive offering, which will debut during I'm a Celeb later today, is titled 'The Beginner' and follows a foster father (pictured) who learns to skateboard in the run-up to Christmas

The heartwarming festive offering, which will debut during I’m a Celeb later today, is titled ‘The Beginner’ and follows a foster father (pictured) who learns to skateboard in the run-up to Christmas

Despite falling off the board, collecting bruises and scratches along the way, the middle-aged man perseveres - even going so far as to watch staking tutorials at work

 Despite falling off the board, collecting bruises and scratches along the way, the middle-aged man perseveres – even going so far as to watch staking tutorials at work

Eventually, a social worker knocks on the couple’s door, and is followed by Ellie, who is clutching her board, but relaxes when she sees that the man fostering her also has a skateboard of his own. 

The advert aims to showcase the importance of actions over words, while bringing attention to the more than 100,000 children who will spend Christmas in care this year. 

The advert was created by John Lewis and partner charities Action for Children and Who Cares? Scotland. 

This year, John Lewis will invite children in the care system to its stores’ Santa’s grottos and will decorate communal spaces of selected residences run by Action for Children with electronics, decorations and furnishings donated by the public. 

John Lewis is also selling their £30 Lewis Bear and other items, including pyjamas, tote bags, baubles, and of course, a skateboard, this year, with 25 per cent of the sales going to their charity partners. 

Meanwhile, Waitrose customers will also have the chance to buy the store’s charity Christmas Yule Log. 

John Lewis created the heartfelt advert (pictured) in tandem with its ‘Building Happier Futures’ programme from the John Lewis Partnership to help young people who have experienced the care system

John Lewis created the heartfelt advert (pictured) in tandem with its ‘Building Happier Futures’ programme from the John Lewis Partnership to help young people who have experienced the care system

In parallel to his skateboard training, the man is also shown preparing for Christmas with his wife, decorating their house

In parallel to his skateboard training, the man is also shown preparing for Christmas with his wife, decorating their house 

Claire Pointon, John Lewis Director of Customer, said of the advert: ‘We are fortunate to have a truly unique platform in our Christmas ad, which sparks a national conversation. As a purpose-led brand, making a genuine difference in our communities is important.

‘At John Lewis we care deeply about families, and recognise that they come in many different forms. For our biggest moment of the year, we decided to focus on one kind of family that is often overlooked.

‘We are also very aware that not all care experience outcomes are as positive as Ellie’s. The home Ellie enters is filled with kindness, and the foster father’s actions demonstrate that ultimately, it’s what you do that matters most.’

Imran Hussain, Director of Policy & Campaigns at Action for Children, added: ‘At Action for Children we want every child to have a safe and happy childhood.  Every year, we work with over 40,000 children and young people in, or with experience of, the care system, and we know the challenges and poor outcomes they may face.

As a cover of 'All The Small Things' by Blink-182 plays in the background, the man is shown falling over and over

As a cover of ‘All The Small Things’ by Blink-182 plays in the background, the man is shown falling over and over 

While his co-workers are hard at work, the father is shown watching skating tutorials at the office (pictured)

While his co-workers are hard at work, the father is shown watching skating tutorials at the office (pictured)

‘We are delighted to be working with the John Lewis Partnership on its iconic Christmas advert and applaud the company for its work and long-term commitment to shining a light on the issues facing some of the most vulnerable children in the country.

‘We believe this partnership will enable us to support and empower more children and young people as they make the transition from care into the adult world,’ he said. 

Meanwhile, Charlotte Lock, Pan-Partnership Customer Director, said: ‘Turbulent times worsen social inequalities, and Christmas is a time when this can be most keenly felt. It’s more important than ever for our business to stand up and use our voice to make a difference where we can. 

‘Our Christmas campaign is an important step in our long-term plans to become the employer of choice for young people leaving the care system, and to provide lasting change and hope for children like Ellie,’ she added. 

He even uses his skateboard to wheel his Christmas tree into his house, to the amusement of neighbours

He even uses his skateboard to wheel his Christmas tree into his house, to the amusement of neighbours 

The advert features the Lewis bear, which is on sale at John Lewis this Christmas. Twenty-five per cent of Lewis Bear sales and other related products will go to John Lewis's partner charities

The advert features the Lewis bear, which is on sale at John Lewis this Christmas. Twenty-five per cent of Lewis Bear sales and other related products will go to John Lewis’s partner charities 

Louise Hunter, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland, who worked with John Lewis on the ad, said: ‘We know that Christmas can be difficult for lots of people, and that’s particularly true for our Care Experienced community who may not have family to spend it with.

‘As the national membership body for Care Experienced people, we know that the Christmas period can bring loneliness, isolation and a sense of being different from others who enjoy a more traditional Christmas Day,’ she went on. 

‘We’re delighted that the John Lewis Christmas advert will feature a different kind of family, one which will resonate with the many thousands of people across the UK, with experience of care.

‘At Who Cares? Scotland, our vision is a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all Care Experienced people and we are excited to have the support of the John Lewis Partnership in making that a reality,’ she added. 

Towards the end of the advert, it looks like the father has finally mastered the basics of skateboarding

Towards the end of the advert, it looks like the father has finally mastered the basics of skateboarding 

The man is seen leading Ellie inside the house and the two connect over skateboarding in front of the tree

The man is seen leading Ellie inside the house and the two connect over skateboarding in front of the tree

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Harriet Johnston

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