An Ode To John Lewis At Christmas Time


There are certain things in life that give me the warm and fuzzies. Every time Elfie comes out with something hilarious or Hux learns a new word. Jacket potato with cheese and beans or cheese on toast with marmite (lots of cheese-based things, actually). Visiting places from my childhood: Bournemouth’s beaches, the New Forest, Mum and Dad’s house.

John Lewis is also one of those places.

When I was a kid we used to visit my grandma in Milton Keynes about once a month and take her in her wheelchair to what is now my local shopping centre. We always without fail would stop for a coffee at John Lewis’s coffee shop, Nana would have a cappucino and I’d do my very best to convince my mum to let me have the freshly-made crepes that we’d watch the chefs preparing. My grandma would give my brother and I all the 5p coins she’d saved (her hands were arthritic and she found it a struggle to pick them out of her purse) and we’d scour the children’s toy department looking for treasures.

These days I still visit the John Lewis coffee shop each time I go shopping, though now they have two: the slightly fancier Espresso Bar and the Cafe itself (I prefer the Espresso Bar and if you go I recommend the South African Sauvignon Blanc… I had it because it was my birthday, honest). I buy the children’s shoes and clothes from John Lewis, all my beauty products come from their beauty hall and I shop there for shoes and kitchen bits, too. I bought my last laptop from them and had my pre-move massage at the in-house Clarins day spa (it was blissful, I fell asleep and am going back next week for the post-move edition). The first place I met my lovely friend Lizzi at was the High Wycombe John Lewis coffee shop and, though it’s not the same, Waitrose are owned by the same people and I wholeheartedly love that place.

But it’s Christmas when John Lewis really comes alive for me. I can still remember marvelling at all the bright lights and big baubles of their Christmas department (erm, alright then, I still do marvel at them. IT’S CHRISTMAS after all). I went with my mum there last year to help pick out an ‘alternative’ Christmas Tree, she went with this one as she is super trendy and the shop for this years tree is slated for a couple of weeks time.

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John Lewis also wins in the Christmas TV ad arena. Say what you will about ‘The Bear and The Hare’, it may not be factually accurate but then neither was the Animals of Farthing Wood and you can’t deny the addition of ‘Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen is pretty special. At the MK John Lewis they’ve made the experience immersive and brought the animals and the cave to the store; as a special treat Elfie went to see it with her own grandma last Friday evening, so maybe it’ll be giving her the warm and fuzzies in years to come?

Instead of leaving with you with The Bear and The Hare I’m going to post 2011’s advert. I still can’t watch this without weeping like a child, and for me it really captures a special bit of what Christmas is all about.

End of cheese.

This sponsored post was thanks to John Lewis, my long-term love. See my disclosure here for more info. 

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  1. Alex wrote:

    As much as I love this year’s JL advert, 2011’s was pretty darn special too.

    Posted 11.26.13 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      It’s literally my all-time favourite advert. Ever ever EVER :)

      Posted 11.26.13 Reply
  2. Annabel Peters wrote:

    Another sponsored post!!! Sorry Alice but bring back the old more than toast! I feel like I’m in a constant advert every time I read it now. You are an amazing writer but every post it just too much!

    Posted 11.26.13 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Hi Annabel, I’m really sorry but they’ve been posted all in one go with the house move! I’ve been trying to work with people who will fit in as closely as possible though. Normal service will resume shortly!!

      Posted 11.26.13 Reply
  3. Susan J-T wrote:

    Oh Alice the memories, brought tears to my eyes remembering those arthritic hands and the 5p’s. You were breastfed regularly in the corner of the restaurant, with a slightly embarrassed Nana tucking in to her Cappuccino and cake. May-be that’s why you have such an affinity now!
    Love, love, love the new Espresso bar, try the jelly bakewell (to die for).

    Posted 11.26.13 Reply
    • Lizzi wrote:

      Lovely memories. Plus I overheard them telling a customer that ALL cakes are baked on site (except the vanilla slice apparently!). Yum!

      Posted 11.27.13 Reply
  4. Hazel wrote:

    this one and the ellie goulding one are my faves, I weep everytime. Summit about the JL ad that makes it feel like chistmas is on its way. :)

    Posted 11.26.13 Reply
  5. Helen wrote:

    Never was a truer post written (even if it was sponsored)! I used to beg my mum to take me to JL High Wycombe every year just to look at the decorations. (They were too posh to buy). Love the little ‘Bear and Hare’ interactive thing my local one has this year. My little boy was entranced with it (and I got an extra 20 mins shopping time). Loving your blog Alice!

    Posted 11.27.13 Reply
  6. I loved the 2011 John Lewis advert, so well done and such a cute message! x

    Posted 11.27.13 Reply
  7. Such a beautiful post…Christmas is all about the family memories!

    Katie x

    Posted 11.27.13 Reply