Grandfather goes to extremes to bring family home for Christmas in German ad

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
A grandfather is shown in a still from the Christmas commercial ''# heimkommen,'' for EDEKA, a supermarket in Germany.

A holiday ad showing how far one lonely grandfather is willing to go to bring his family home for Christmas is getting strongly mixed reviews all over the world.

In the spot for Edeka, a large supermarket chain in Germany, a grandfather is left home alone at Christmas because his family is too busy to visit. It happens year after year, and time after time the old man is left by himself at a long dining room table. Eventually, his family learns that he has passed away and they all return for his funeral. That's when they receive quite the Christmas surprise -- the old man isn't dead after all.

"How else could I have brought you all together?" he asks, before the family shares a joyful meal together.

The commercial is meant to demonstrate that being with loved ones is an important part of the holiday season, and we shouldn't let our lives get in the way of it, according to Laura-Mareike Hohls of the company's public affairs office.

"We would like to draw attention to the fact, that the time spent with family and friends is most valuable, especially in the fast moving world we are living in today," she told ABC in an email. "Christmas is the time to be together and to enjoy life."

The ad has been viewed 19 million times on YouTube in less than a week and has been met with both positive and negative reactions.

Some say the spot is both sad and heartwarming.

Others, though, challenged the ad's premise, calling the grandfather's methods into question.

What do you think? Did it inspire you to go home for Christmas? Let us know in the comments.