Advent Calendar Day 2

Time to open the number 2 window on my Advent Calendar. Still no chocolates, but the music makes up for that. Today’s song is a favourite of mine, though I haven’t featured it for a couple of years:

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like cowboys and spacemen, does it! That one goes back to 2011, in the midst of a period when The Killers used to release a Christmas single each year, all the proceeds being donated to charity. They haven’t done it recently, as far as I can tell, but their collection is quite varied, and they always had fun making the videos, as you can see!

I’m giving you a second video today. For a difference, this one is a Christmas advert:

Hafod Hardware is a shop in Rhayader, a small town in mid-Wales. They first released a Christmas advert in 2017, and things really took off for them last year when they generated a huge amount of coverage in the national media here. This one was released early today, and I have to admit that I was waiting for it: as before, they have used a very limited budget – most of which is spent on acquiring the rights to use the music – and have, I think, succeeded again in getting right to the heart of what Christmas should be about. And they do it far better than the big retailers and their advertising agencies! The star of the video is little Arthur, who is, I think, now 3, though he has been in all four of their videos: a budding child star in the making, right from the time he crawled across the floor in the 2017 version! The music for all four of their Christmas ads has been provided by Andrea Von Kampen, and the beautiful simplicity of her songs is a perfect fit. This song is actually a real oldie, which has become a traditional folk song in the US. It was written by Stephen Foster (the ‘father of American music’) in 1854, and its message of asking the fortunate to consider those less lucky than themselves is just as true today as ever. I may well be sharing again their three previous ads during Advent: they are all as lovely as this one, so have the hankies ready.

Signing off with today’s picture, which was kindly provided by my friend Gill:

See you again tomorrow.


26 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 2

  1. Pingback: A Wonderful Christmas Message: #GiveWhatYouCan – Borden's Blather

    • Glad to bring something new to you. I doubt the Hafod budget stretches to tv advertising, so you wouldn’t see it there anyway. They went viral last year after they got national media coverage and will probably do the same again this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love the Christmas advert for the Haford Hardware store, Clive. They could certainly teach many of the marketing agencies a thing or two.

    And I’ve never heard The Killers tune before and had no idea they used to release a festive tune every Christmas for many years. The video was good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you did, Hugh, I think it’s rather lovely. They’ve now done four, and the others will be making an appearance in the series.

      That is my favourite of the Killers’ Christmas songs and videos, but there are several more!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another new song for me by The Killers. I think it’s great when bands we don’t associate with Christmas do holiday songs. That was a cute commercial with a great message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They did it for a number of years, and actually have enough of them for a whole album. The fact that they did them for charity is what impresses me.

      Hafod Hardware do amazing things on a shoestring budget. That’s their fourth, and they’re all lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The killers have so many great Christmas songs I’ll be featuring my favorite in upcoming post as well. And I am a big fan of all the British Christmas ads as well so thanks for sharing this one I’ll be checking them all out later this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Their catalogue is pretty impressive, isn’t it. Looking forward to what you’ll share – I’m doing this every day so you have a lot more to suffer yet.

      As I said in the piece, this ad is way out of the mainstream and is, I think, all the better for it. The shop became something of a sensation here last year, and I hope this one gets the same attention. When you think of the vast budgets the big retailers have, running into millions, and Hafod are believed to spend around £100 on theirs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure I’ve seen it, but I can’t recall it, which probably says more about my memory than their ad. It’s a strange Christmas, though, as England only came out of lockdown today and non-essential shopping has only been possible online for the past month. Two of our bigger retailers have gone to the wall in the past three days, so the times of big budget ad campaigns may be ending.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve always had undercurrents of racism in our society, despite improvements since the 50s and 60s. They were reawoken by the Brexit campaign, which was a naked appeal to jingoism and distrust/dislike of ‘foreigners’ of all sorts. It emboldened the Neanderthals, aided and abetted by the rabid right wing press. Sadly, I wasn’t at all surprised at the reaction. We still have a long way to go to be a caring, inclusive society. It isn’t just a Trump thing, and there are many other European countries with the same problem.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pleased! Stick with me, as I won’t be sharing any of those – my tastes aren’t what many would call mainstream! If you really like the Killers they brought all of their Christmas songs together a few years back in an album called Don’t Waste Your Wishes. I know it’s on Apple Music – I have it! – so hopefully you’ll find it on all of the streaming services. And there are plenty more of their Christmas videos on YouTube.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope you find them! I’m very much into indie/alt/Americana but tend to steer clear of them for Christmas songs. Like you say, most of them are dirges! I try to keep my choices happy if I can, though there are some of the slower, beautiful type too. Hope you’ll come back for another look: as they say, I’m here all month!

        Liked by 1 person

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