Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Corny Christmas Commercials – and some difficult news on the family front

Confession – I do love corny a Christmas commercial. Despite their mercenary motivation, they bring back memories of daylight saving and summer pyjamas, the smell of radiatta pine, jacaranda’s blooms, carols by candle light, and the early Christmas morning santa-shrieks of delight. It’s absurd really; they are only trying to sell something. This year I need that kind of comfort.

I saw the John Lewis ad as the Trump debacle was unfolding. We’d received some bad news about my mother’s health and after a sober family meeting, the John Lewis ad made us all laugh.



This time last year I was in the northern hemisphere enjoying my first English Christmas since childhood. Mince pies, puddings, mulled wine, Christmas lights, the Queen’s speech, board games and rugged-up walks in the park all made sense in those short, dark days of winter. We do things differently down under. It was one of my emigrant mother’s hardest adjustments, singing jingle bells in the summer sun. I’m not sure what Ronan Keating has to do with Air New Zealand but I guess that’s the making money part of the equation.



The commercial purpose of this final ad is so subtle, I’m still not sure what they are selling. But it made me cry and I was sitting in a cafe. You see we’d just found out my mother is dying. This will be her final Christmas. I’m not sure what the next few months will look like. Only that they will be a sacred time in our family life. So if things go a bit quiet on my blog, you’ll understand why.




Owain Glyn Dwr’s offspring – and Iolo Morgannwg’s meddling


Cuts, colours and the magic of Christmas


  1. Carine

    Big hug! xx

  2. Andy

    Meddwl amdanoch i gyd X

  3. Aran

    Meddwl amdanoch chi, ac yn dymuno i ti’r cryfder bydd angen.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Diolch Aran. Mae hi’n barod i fynd. Dyna yn gwneud y peth haws. Dyn ni’n jyst awyddus ei chadw hi yn gyfforddus.

  4. Dear Liz
    I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s health situation. My best wishes to you and your family during this horrible time. Take care. Earl x

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Earl. Your kind thoughts are appreciated.

  5. Sylvia Fuss

    So sorry to hear about your mother Liz. I pray you may have her longer than you think and you can really enjoy and appreciate you r Christmas together. All best wishes, Sylvia.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Sylvia. She is ready to go. We just want to be with her and make sure she is comfortable until the end.

  6. Lyn Williams

    I’m so sorry to hear that Liz. I remember when we knew it was Mum’s last Christmas when she was dying – it was both very special and very sad. Thinking of you in the days and months ahead xoxo

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Lyn. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your mother; please take care of yourself during such a difficult time.

    After your lovely comment on my blog, I thought I’d come over and say hello, and then had the pleasure of weeping through your sentimental commercials, before breakfast. : D

    Here’s another sad commercial for you, it’s called The Christmas Truce:

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Oh wow! That is a beautiful commercial. I’m not sure we do the Christmas ad thing so well in Australia. Maybe it will catch on. I saw your blog on Elizabeth Bell’s Facebook post and have just realized it is quite an old post. It was still a great read. 🙂

      • It was written back in the day when I had more energy to both write and blog! But it was sure fun going to the bookstore that day to imagine the spot where my book would sit.

        If you’re keen on sad commercials, a Thai insurance company has one:
        (and there are others!)

        • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

          I’ve seen the Thai one. I suspect I have a sentimental soul. I have to watch for it in my writing. 🙂

  8. Inge Thornton

    Only just got round to reading this. Really sorry to hear the news about your mother, Liz. Sending you much love.

  9. Elizabeth Jane Corbett

    Thanks Inge. It is going to be a difficult few months. My brother is flying home from Africa, Andrew from Paris. Big family meeting this week. Mercifully, mum is in a great care home and they will care for her to the end.

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