"The right to love whoever you want is a fundamental human right, and is not considered a political issue in free democratic societies in 2021," marketing director Monica Solberg said.
The Santa Claus that we know of is a gentle-looking man with a huge belly and a sack, going from home to home, dropping gifts for Christmas. Once he's done with his duties, he heads back home to the North Pole, to meet his wife, Mrs. Claus.
However, in a new advertisement by the Norwegian postal service—which has a tradition of making an annual 'holiday movie'—Santa as we know it no longer exists. In this 4-minute long video, Santa is gay!
Posten, Norway's national postal service, released the ad/short film When Harry met Santa, and their marketing director Monica Solberg said Christmas is a time to celebrate love, and there's nothing better than a gay love story to promote inclusiveness and happiness.
Solberg said the pandemic has been hard on everyone and Posten's ad was to spread a little cheer and love. “It has been a dark year for everyone—A global pandemic, code red for our planet, refugee crisis, and more,” Solberg told LGBTQ Nation. “Perhaps what we need this year is a warm and heartfelt love story? A celebration of the fact that we can love whomever we want in Norway, despite everything bad that happens around the world.”
Coincidentally, the ad coincides with the 50th anniversary of the country’s decriminalization of homosexuality. The advertisement starts off with Harry accidentally spotting Santa leaving Harry's home. As the years pass, life around Harry keeps changing but one thing remains constant—his longing to see Santa.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Harry can be seen decorating the house in anticipation of Santa, but in one shot, Harry, who has fallen asleep, wakes up to see Santa sitting on the sofa, looking at him sleep.
Norway's state-owned postal service Posten is marking 50 years since Norway decriminalized same-sex relationships with a Christmas ad https://t.co/u2tzH8674M pic.twitter.com/XbcNk7uW6Z— Reuters (@Reuters) November 25, 2021
Santa smiles before leaving a present for him on the table, and the following montages show Harry and Santa laughing and talking all night before Santa leaves again. But this time, when Santa leaves, Harry is miserable. He's seen crying, and is generally angry and upset. He finally sends a letter to the North Pole, opening up about his feelings for Santa. “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is you,” reads the letter.
So, when the bell finally rang on Christmas day, Harry, who was dressed to the nines in a suit, rushes to open the door, only to be disappointed to see a postwoman holding a bunch of gifts. A confused Harry heads back to his living room with the gifts, only to receive the surprise of his lifetime. There Santa was in his home, waiting for him.
"I arranged some help this year," Santa tells him, "So I can be with you." Harry puts away the presents he's holding and walks over to him. They look tenderly into each others' eyes and kiss. The ad closes with the message: “In 2022, it will have been 50 years since it became legal in Norway to love whoever you want.”
When Harry Met Santa has been met with love online, with one person posting: ‘Imagine the performative shitfit this advert would cause in the UK,’ while another wrote: ‘This is just wonderful and yes that is a slight tear in my eye.’ pic.twitter.com/E3xMlfqesn— Metro (@MetroUK) November 24, 2021
This is not the first time Posten has put out videos that are thoughtful and progressive. "Posten is an inclusive workplace with great diversity, and we would like to celebrate the 50th anniversary with this fine love story. In last year’s campaign, Santa was angry at Norway Post, which took away from him the ‘business’ – this year, Santa is happy that Norway Post can relieve him a little, so that he can be with the one he loves,” said Solberg, before adding that the national service had a responsibility to send a message that takes the society forward.
"In addition to showing the flexibility of our services, we want to put it in a socially relevant setting, with themes that are important for the society around us and for us at Norway Post,” said Solberg.
When asked if she was prepared for criticism and vitriol against the ad, she said, "We are prepared to deal with that." When asked if the ad was political, Solberg responded, "The right to love whoever you want is a fundamental human right, and is not considered a political issue in free democratic societies in 2021. Norway Post has connected people for 375 years, and will continue to do so regardless of orientation or gender identity."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Posten (When Harry met Santa)