Norway’s 375-year-old postal service, Posten Norge, this week has released a festive commercial ahead of the holiday season with Santa Claus getting a boyfriend.
The popular image of Mrs. Claus helping out at the North Pole has been dropped to show a more inclusive perspective this year.
The four-minute clip titled “When Harry met Santa” — a light-hearted reference to the 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally” — has well-known Scandinavian actors Johan Ehn and Terje Stromdahl, respectively, playing the lead roles.
The couple meet when Harry spots Father Christmas delivering presents to his home. They gaze across to each other before Santa disappears up the chimney. The clip continues to show the annual meetings between the pair as Santa delivers more gifts. Before each fleeting visit Harry carefully selects his outfits and sprays himself with cologne.
Eventually Harry is seen writing a letter to Santa saying, “All I want for Christmas is you.” In the final scene, the couple kiss in a loving embrace.
The ad has been produced to mark 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in Norway. The country has some of Europe’s most progressive LGBTQ legislation, with the Gay Travel Index consistently ranking Norway as one of the most gay-friendly places in the world. Civil partnerships have been legal since 1993 and LGBTQ people able to serve openly in the military since 1979.
The clip has quickly garnered international attention with Canadian Member of Parliament, Randall Garrison, tweeting he was breaking his “no Christmas before December rule” to thank Norwegian Post for their “strong and moving message of inclusion.” The ad on YouTube has been viewed more than 600,000 times in just three days.
Norwegian Post tell NBC News their aim was to “show love has no limits” and reaction within Norway so far has been “overwhelming.” No decision has yet been made on if there will be a follow up to Santa’s love story next year.
Liam Woods is a desk editor in the NBC News London bureau.