The heartwarming ad showing Harry and Santa waiting a whole year to meet each other on Christmas was made by Norway's postal service.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 25, 2021. It has since been updated.
The Norwegian postal service has a tradition of making an annual 'holiday movie' and one released in 2021, featuring a gay love story, is getting everyone emotional. Posten, Norway's national postal service, released a four-minute short film "When Harry met Santa." Posten’s marketing director Monica Solberg said Christmas is a time to celebrate love, and what 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.”
The ad was also in time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the country’s decriminalization of homosexuality. The ad starts out showing Harry accidentally seeing Santa leave a present in his home before escaping via the chimney. As the years pass, their longing for each other grows, and they wait for that one moment where they can meet each other on Christmas. Harry can be seen wearing his best outfits, cleaning up the home, and taking particular care with the Christmas decoration. In one poignant moment, Harry falls asleep on the couch and wakes up to see Santa watching him sleep. Santa smiles before leaving a present for him on the table and leaving. The following montages show Harry and Santa laughing and talking all night before Santa leaves again.
Harry is miserable for the rest of the year and spends his time waiting for Christmas to have a glimpse of Santa. He is sad and can be seen crying into his pillow. 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. When the bell rings on Christmas, Harry eagerly heads to the door but realizes it's a postwoman delivering his gift. He's confused but when he heads back into his living room, he sees his gift waiting for him. Santa Claus. Harry stops for a second. "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.”
Posten has a history of making quirky holiday videos, but they decided to take a different approach this year and it clearly resonated with many. In 2019, Posten jokingly discussed if Virgin Mary was actually a virgin or not, and in 2020 they parodied Donald Trump’s crazy tweets.“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 Harry met Santa from the Norwegian Post is ❤️❤️❤️— Nash Tysmans (@nashtysmans) November 23, 2021
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."
YALL! The Norwegian Postal Service gave Santa a boyfriend! 🎅 🇳🇴 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/vPySE1s93o— Brian Sullivan aka Sully (He/Him/His) (@nashvillescoop) November 23, 2021
The video was well received and lauded. One person commented, "This is just the most beautiful commercial, I'm in tears how lovely it is. What a wonderful message to share in celebration of a very important anniversary." Another wrote, "Thank you for such a lovely Christmas advert. And for those who disapprove of mixing politics and Christmas, being able to love who you want is NOT a political issue, it's a fundamental human right!"