In the 2023 edition of the wonderfully creative annual holiday advert for British department store John Lewis, a little boy named Alfie finds a box with a seed to grow a “perfect Christmas Tree” at a flea market with his gran.
Alfie is sort of very curious and he sees this box that says grow your own perfect Christmas tree and he thinks I’d like to do that. That would be something my family would like to do.
They bring it home and plant it but instead of the lovely fir tree they were expecting, the seed sprouted into a giant Venus flytrap they named “Snapper”. Concerned about the safety of her family, Alfie’s mum relegates Snapper to the back garden and puts a traditional tree in Snapper’s place. On Christmas, Alfie sees Snapper left out in the cold and decides to bring a present out to him. Snapper’s joy is infectious and spreads to Alfie’s mum, gran and sister, who join Alfie and Snapper as a family, realizing that old traditions can change and grow as long as you’re with the ones you love.
Traditions change, and they change as people grow and bring other people into their lives. It says grow your own perfect Christmas tree, but you don’t see what the Christmas tree is because you kind of get the Christmas tree that’s perfect for you. He grows a friend. He grows something completely different and he changes the family tradition of Christmas forever.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the advertisement.
Here’s the boy who plays Alfie.
Here’s more information about Venus flytraps.