Christmas in a Day: Sainsbury’s remind us of the true meaning of Christmas

In association with Sainsbury’s

It’s barely mid-December and I’ve heard so many talk about feeling overwhelmed by Christmas already. At times, I’ve felt it too. So, it’s with interest that I’ve welcomed this post from Sainsbury’s about taking it all back to values.

It’s easy in the hustle and bustle of the modern world to forget about the true meaning behind important dates in our lives. Nowhere is this truer than at Christmas when the pressures that we face to make everything perfect for the whole family can sometimes obscure what the whole festive season is really about.


A popular gripe is that the whole thing has become too commercialised, with business and big companies seeing the festivities as a time when we spend more on virtually everything and therefore they fight for our custom.

Of course, the truth is that we like to treat our friends, family and ourselves at this special time of year. It is the only occasion other than a birthday that we really show our affection for others by giving them presents and the whole point of a ‘feast’ time is that we over indulge a little and push the boat out when it comes to having things that might otherwise normally be seen as surplus to requirements.

By Crnorizec (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons


With this in mind, it might seem strange that a modern marker for each new Christmas is season has become the lavishly produced and expensive advertising campaigns which most major retailers put in place.

Each year there seems to be one particular effort that finds a place in people’s hearts and really reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.

This year there is no doubt that it is Sainsbury’s Christmas in a Day – a full film which sums up the true meaning of Christmas.


Sainsbury’s has spared no expense with a full 45-minute film which will even be getting a cinema release in selected locations around the UK. Directed by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, known for his ground breaking film Life In A Day, the project was also produced by Hollywood legend Ridley Scott.

The film is based on 360 hours of crowd-sourced footage which was supplied by members of the public, each of them willing to share those magic moments of how they prepare for and enjoy Christmas. This means that there are fun moments, emotional scenes and thought-provoking vignettes.

‘I was overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the people up and down the country, from every walk of life, who filmed their Christmas and shared it with us,’ Macdonald commented.

‘I feel that the finished film stands out for many reasons – it is funny, moving, often beautifully shot and above all truthful. I am immensely thankful to everyone who took part and to Sainsbury’s for making the film possible.’

It isn’t just the source material that works, it is the expert way that it is put together to provide a narrative. For instance, an amateur rendition of the classic Christmas tune ‘Deck The Halls’ shows the light hearted side of how we can get into the festive spirit, whilst footage of an old man eating alone brings into focus the fact that not everyone has the same experience.

By Tri Nguyen via Flickr


It is exactly in this way that the film helps remind us of the true meaning of Christmas – that although it is about sharing it with those closest to us, it is also about a sense of community in a wider sense, which is exactly why Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol‘ hits a nerve with anyone who knows the story.

Ending with a scene that will move anyone, where a family can be seen recording a Christmas message to send to their father who is serving in Afghanistan, and then he unexpectedly arrives home on a surprise return visit, the film manages to capture the spirit of the connection we all have at Christmas.

“The moments that make Christmas special” is the tag for the film and the general summary of the ad campaign, all of which are sure to become stuck in the public imagination when they think back to Christmas 2013. Take a look at the video now and see what everyone’s talking about.

In association with Sainsbury’s

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