Sam and Monty have been touching people’s hearts – making some people some people cry, apparently! For those of you who haven’t seen the latest John Lewis TV advert for Christmas, Sam is a little boy who has a best friend called Monty, who is a penguin. They are inseparable. Sam thinks he knows just what Monty is dreaming of for Christmas… something that will make one little penguin’s perfect Christmas day. And on 25 December, Monty is presented with Mabel, another penguin and everyone cries with joy. At long last, Monty has a friend of his own kind.
The reason this advert touches people’s hearts, is, I believe, because we recognise how precious friendship is and perhaps it touches us so deeply because many of us yearn for that sort of friendship and closeness. It’s all very well someone telling you that they have 2000 friends on facebook, but scratch the surface and you find that they don’t have many real friends because they spend so much of their time on social media, stuck alone in a room. We’re often told that elderly people are lonely because no one has any time to visit them or include them in conversations. At this time of the year, single/widowed/divorced people often feel their “alone-ness” even more keenly as Christmas approaches.
Who do we know who lives alone? Could you deliberately carve out half an hour to call on someone who lives alone? As for Monty, he now has Mabel. I hope Sam found some other (human) friends as well!
The Revd Canon Jane Kenchington, Area Dean of Wotton & Rector of the Sodbury Vale Benefice