The Ghosts of Christmas Cereal Commercials Past

This Christmas has been a major disappointment.

Not because I didn’t spend it with my family (I had a great time) or because I didn’t get good gifts (I love my laptop). No, the real reason I’m upset is because I didn’t see two Christmas cereal commercials.

You remember the commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios, where the bee is harassing Scrooge? Scrooge is sitting at his desk doing work and complaining that he has work to do, complete with his “bah humbug!” Finally, Scrooge begrudgingly samples the Honey Nut Cheerios, and smiles, while in the background kids who are caroling sing songs about Honey Nut Cheerios. (It’s been a long time since I read Charles Dickens’ book, but I don’t remember Cheerios being mentioned in it.) I managed to find this interesting interpretation.

The other commercial is one of those famous commercials for Fruity Pebbles cereal featuring the Flintstones. Like all the others, this commercial featured Barney trying to steal Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. This one is a Christmas commercial, though. When you think about it, it kind of blows a hole in time/space continuum that the Flintstones are celebrating Christmas, since Bedrock is supposed to exist millions of years before Christ. But I digress. Anyway, Santa comes down the chimney, and Fred greets him with a bowl of Pebbles. Then Barney comes down the chimney dressed as Santa, in an obvious attempt to steal Fred’s cereal. Fred immediately recognizes Barney, and prepares to bludgeon him, like he did in all the other commercials. Fortunately, Santa intervenes and reminds Fred that “’tis the season to be sharing,” at which point Fred puts aside his differences with Barney and they share the cereal. Usually the two fight over it, but, in keeping with the Yuletide spirit, they happily share. It was all quite moving, kind of like the Christmas episode of South Park where Kenny doesn’t die. (You can see a complete rundown of the commercial here.)

These commercials were bona fide classics, some of the best ads ever made. Certainly right up there with the Frosted Flakes commercial featuring Tony Tiger and some girl whitewater rafting, the Doublemint Twins, “Where’s the beef?”, Sugar Bear, the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” woman, the Maytag Repair Man, and that Cadbury Bunny Easter commercial. Those commercials come and go, but these Christmas commercials appeared every year. Until this year. It’s quite sad. Perhaps they will return next year. We can only hope and pray.

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