Three children return home for their father’s funeral, but they make a heartbreaking discovery.

The hectic pace of life, combined with our proclivity for overcommitting, can sometimes blind us to what truly matters. This viral video from Edeka, a German supermarket corporation, serves as a powerful reminder of the value of making time for family. In the commercial, a lonely father goes to extraordinary lengths to teach his family a lesson, and the result is unforgettable.

It begins with the father’s disappointment at learning that his children will not be present for Christmas this year. He arranges photographs of his children and grandchildren on the mantle and begins preparing a Christmas dinner for one. In the following scene, we see his busy children, all grown up with careers and families, receiving the heartbreaking news that their father has died…

The expressions of sadness and regret on their faces tell a long story. They missed out on so much because they didn’t prioritize family time. Before the memorial, all of the children and grandchildren arrive at their father’s house. They’re dressed in black because they’ve lost their beloved father and grandfather. Then the unthinkable occurs. Through the kitchen, the father looks at them.

He’s still alive! He staged the whole thing to bring them together and teach them a life lesson they’ll never forget. After they’ve recovered from the shock of seeing their father, they gather around the table to share smiles, laughs, and food, recapturing the beauty of family life. It’s an emotional parable about the value of family, as well as a special reminder to focus on what’s most important this season (and every season): deeply loving others and making time for them in our lives.

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