As 2020 (thankfully) draws to a close, it seems that everyone could use a good cry.
And this year’s holiday commercials, from Coca-Cola to Etsy to the USPS, are the perfect place to get the tears flowing.
Read below for 10 of 2020’s most heartwarming and tear-jerking ads.
This ad features a father who heads out to sea, leaving behind his family. Before he leaves, his daughter tasks him with delivering a letter to Santa in the North Pole. Dad crosses stormy waters, snowy roads and more to complete his mission, only to find that all along his daughter just wanted him home for Christmas. Cue the tears.
Amazon’s commercial shows the heartbreaking moment when a ballerina learns her performance has been canceled due to COVID-19. Heartbreak turns to joy, however, when her loved ones arrange for her to put on a show for them anyways.
Supermarket chain Meijer decided to tackle the coronavirus head on in their holiday ad, showing a teenager feeling down that “it doesn’t even feel like Christmas” amid the pandemic. With the company of her little sister, however, she finds a way to tap into the Christmas spirit.
4. Doc Morris
Dutch pharmacy company Doc Morris has released what is perhaps one of the greatest holiday commercial endings this year. The ad shows a grandfather training all season and lifting weights, all so he can lift his granddaughter up to put the star on the Christmas tree.
Disney has provided a multi-generational holiday story for their commercial this year, showing a young girl who is attached to an old Mickey Mouse toy. Decades later, she passes it on to her granddaughter.
This Kohl’s ad, featuring an elderly woman and her young neighbor, really pulls at the heartstrings. The unlikely friends begin communicating by pasting messages on their windows, until the older woman goes AWOL. Thankfully, she returns on Christmas Day, but not before your eyes start filling up.
During a year when many families are apart, Etsy’s holiday commercial hits hard. This one includes the bittersweet moment when a grandmother opens a gift from her grandchild via Zoom, ending with the promise of “see you really soon.”
Keeping in line with grandparent-grandchild storylines, this ad from Texas supermarket chain H-E-B shows all the ways we can find connections amid the pandemic. One family makes up holiday meal plates for healthcare workers, another sets up lights for their neighbors, and a young girl heartbreakingly plays with her grandma through the window.
The U.S. Postal Service has had quite a year, from the pandemic creating an online shopping boom to the surge in mail-in ballots during the presidential election. This ad serves as a heartwarming reminder to go buy some stamps and thank your postal worker.
This one is not as sad, but it wouldn’t be a holiday commercial roundup without an honorable mention for videos including dogs. In this sweet ad from Microsoft, a family pet goes ignored by its owners, who are all preoccupied on their computers. The pup instead takes a nap, dreaming of being included in the humans’ video games and Microsoft Teams calls.