John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams - the best Christmas TV adverts of 2014

Emma Haslett
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Alright, so there's still a month and a half until the big day - but settle in, because Christmas ads have begun to grace our screens, and they're going to be around for the next 47 evenings in. You might as well become acquainted.

First up, we had the big one: John Lewis' much-awaited Christmas tearjerker, which didn't fail to deliver this year, either. The tale of a boy and his penguin, loneliness and companionship, had more than four million views in 24 hours.

Next are Magic and Sparkle, Marks & Spencer's surprisingly well-dressed fairies, who whizz around an unspecified town forcing people into M&S clothes and making it snow. Given last week's temperatures, we'd imagine it'll take a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust to give us a white Christmas this year...

Halfords' view of Christmas is a bit more realistic: set on a sleet-covered cul-de-sac in deepest suburbia, a gang of be-hoodied bikers lures bored young girls from their home. It's all a little bit This is England - but at least they're all wearing helmets.

The Big Four supermarkets don't drop until next week, but the discounters have got in there early. Lidl continues on its theme from earlier in the year, by tricking the good people of Hertfordshire into thinking they're being treated to Christmas grub from M&S (look at those frozen smiles at the end)...

... while Jules Holland abandons Hootenanny rehearsals to wish us Merry Christmas on behalf of Aldi.

Coca-Cola stays on its "Give a Coke" theme by showing people engaged in various acts of kindness, which allows it to pretty much covers all the Christmas bases possible: Santa, working mums, caroling, sweet old couples, generous policemen, big shiny lorries.

Finally, Debenhams features a gang of pre-pubescent thugs trashing one of its stores. It may live to regret that one. Remember, kids: crime isn't Christmassy.

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