Without fail, I'm sucked into the holiday-inspired consumerism each year starting on Black Friday. The objective: Seek out the best bargains and the hottest toys in order to make my kids' Christmas morning "magical." Although I don't go completely overboard on spending, there are still plenty of presents accumulated by the time Dec. 25 roll around. Deep down, I realize that gifts aren't the only reason for the season. (And we do to stress this to our kids.) However, this video of Santa searching for a missing child will make you re-think the holidays altogether.
A new PSA from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is now something I can't get out of my head. It might only be a minute and forty seconds in length, but the video titled, "The one gift Santa can't deliver" is bound to touch you in the same way that it did for me. It features a horrified Santa searching for a young girl who has been separated from her parents in a war-stricken country, according to Adweek. As Kris Kringle wanders through the wreckage, fleeing civilians, gun shots, and violence, the song "Happy Holidays" ominously plays in the background. Eventually, Santa enters a largely abandoned building, where he finally discovers the little girl cowering in the corner of a filthy room.
As Mr. Claus reaches his hand out toward the child, she does the same. In an instant, though, the camera shows the girl reaching out toward no one and nothing — signifying that Santa Claus was simply a figment of her imagination. A message on the screen then reads: "The only gift some children want this Christmas is their family." A brief scene of the girl reuniting with a family member follows, as well as the message, "Every year, we reunite hundreds of families torn apart by conflict, migration, and natural disaster."
The ICRC and the American Red Cross helps reconnect loved ones who are separated from their family members because of wars, extreme violence, disasters, and migration. Currently, they are looking for more than 100,000 missing persons across the globe, according to a press release from the American Red Cross. “Over and over again, we hear from people impacted by international crises that their top priority is finding their loved ones," said Vicente Baamonde Antelo, head of the Restoring Family Links program for the American Red Cross, in a news release. "Reestablishing the connection between family members is as crucial as meeting basic needs like food, shelter, and water. There’s no truer expression of humanity than providing that peace of mind."
As for the ad itself? The video was created in collaboration with Adam&eveDDB to show what Christmas is like for children who are separated from their families, according to PRWeek. “We love how [they] subverted festive tropes we’re used to seeing from brands, to remind us of the thousands of families around the world separated due to conflict, migration, or natural disasters,” ICRC communications manager Jenni Smout told the publication.
This video definitely puts things into perspective, doesn't it? As stressful as preparing for the holidays can be at times — with the cooking, traveling, gift shopping and wrapping, etc. — the PSA is a jarring reminder of the reality of so many children, Christmastime or not.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.