Being the super sleuths that we are, we couldn't not turn up to John Lewis' Christmas Market for a nosy round and try to guess what the iconic Christmas advert of 2017 is going to be.
There does appear to be a noticeable narrative of late to give us a clue, as keenly pointed out by Herbert Williams.
John Lewis Christmas advert game: name the animal, narrative of isolation, 90's song, breathy singer.— Herbert Williams (@bigherbwilliams) September 28, 2016
Well, if the market is anything to go by, we may be seeing the debut of the Christmas Llama. Could it be that Santa's reindeers are striking for a four day working week and it's time for the overlooked North Pole llamas to save Christmas Day?
There was also an obvious woodland theme going on, so any number of these creatures could be John Lewis' next big star. There was a particular abundance of owls, might we see a grumpy owl hiding away from Christmas spirit in a barn slowly cajoled and encouraged into joining in the festivities? Or are we thinking too Scrooge-centrically?
Though, if anything, this group of owls look incredibly sassy. Maybe there's a dance number involved?
Leaving aside the animal theme, because John Lewis have gone down the human route with some major success (The Long Wait) and also some heartbroken/confused reactions (Man on the Moon); we could be looking at the story of a family gearing up for the Christmas period. Could you imagine the tear jerking moment when the soundless son, born into a family of professional carol singers, manages to find his voice? Grab those tissues.
The department store tends to lean heavily on the nostalgia factor for its advert, but maybe this year it will look ahead to the future? We're seeing an epic war of Nanoblocks vs Transformers vs Lego, building themselves into more and more impressive structures to be chosen as Christmas gift of the year. Well now we're just giving away golden ideas for free — John Lewis please at least credit us when you use this stuff next year.
What could be more iconic than the Christmas jumper? Dressing up for work parties, it can make or break your respectability and reputation for the year ahead (no? Just our office?). But what about a full Christmas suit? We're imagining something along the lines of the below being lovingly hand-stitched in the back of a tailor's shop and put in a Christmas window, only to be overlooked by passers-by who refuse to leave the comforting realm of the jumper. Sadder, sadder, and more lonely, it's not looking good until a young face presses against the window — eyes wide with joy — and persuades their father he must buy the Christmas suit. Once he wears it, everyone wants one (of course), and soon they're being made by the case load and the original Christmas suit attends the family's Christmas party in their loving home.
Okay, we may be clutching at straws here, but if there was one thing we were definitely excited by at John Lewis' Christmas Market, it's how much they've gone overboard when it comes to festive London paraphernalia. There is a vast amount of London baubles that even overshadow Harrods' offerings. Cards, games, wrapping paper, canvases — if you love Christmas and London you'll find a little something here to take home.
And for those of you who truly have it all, why not have your face printed as a gummy sweet? For the rather exorbitant price of £10, you'll just really have to appreciate the novelty of it, and maybe not eat it straight away...
John Lewis' Christmas Market opens 22 September 2017, open 7 days a week.