This gay Norwegian Santa ad is the only Christmas content I need

Watch this touching, optimistic glimpse into our queerest future immediately, if not sooner.

Posten / YouTube

I hate the holidays. To me, the Christmas season seems mostly like a capitalist ploy to sell us the idea that buying this or that gift will somehow get us closer to the kind of wholesome family cheer that advertising promises is possible. That isn’t the reality that most people live in, of course, but for queer people, it feels even more complex. For the most part, we aren’t even included in the fantasies of holiday family fun. This Norwegian Santa ad is the only Christmas content I care about because it’s not just selling an LGBTQ+ fantasy — it’s also a glimpse into an optimistic future.

The 4-minute ad for Posten Norway, the Norwegian postal service, called “When Harry Met Santa,” started airing two weeks ago. Since then, it has been viewed millions of times in several languages. Why, you might be wondering, would millions of people around the globe want to see a foreign ad for mail? Well, don’t take my word for it, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most wholesome, heartwarming gay anything on the internet.

The short film length ad is about the life of a man, Harry, who catches feelings for Santa after getting a glimpse of him delivering presents one Christmas Eve. Year after year, their relationship deepens over cookies, milk, and flirtatious laughter. Finally, one Christmas Harry leaves Santa a love letter instead of a gift list and nervously waits. That year, Santa has Harry’s gift delivered by Posten Norway, which frees Santa up to have a sweet date with Harry. Their long-awaited cinematic kiss is overflowing with warmth, romantic tension and, finally, relief.

For an American queer, it’s not just the refreshing sweetness of seeing LGBTQ+ love celebrated in advertising that makes “When Harry met Santa” totally sob-worthy. Yes, this ad poignantly unearths some deep-seated longing for hygge winter love, but it also delivers hope. The ad ends with the announcement that Norway is celebrating “50 years of being able to love whoever we want.” It simultaneously pulls at the deep grief I have that this ad would not be possible in America, but also shows a potential LGBTQ+ future.

It’s not that I want more product ads geared towards gays. But the terrifying genius of advertising is that it sells us future possibilities, and the fact that capitalism doesn’t even bother to try to sell queer people the promise of holiday bliss makes it seem all the more implausible. Yes, this is obviously a sugar-coated version of what life might be like when it has been okay to be gay for half a century, but I am here for this queer imaginary.