The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the Christmas season, when celebrants everywhere put up traditional Christmas decorations, sing traditional Christmas carols, and hunker down for the yearly reading of the traditional incest-themed fan fiction based on a two-minute Folger's commercial.
Yes, it's that time of the year: the Folger's incest time. This commercial, originally broadcast in 2009, was a remake of the classic 1980s Folger's spot "Peter Come Home for Christmas," in which a little girl waits up all night for her big brother to come home for Christmas. The remake follows the original: the older brother returns home from "volunteering" in "West Africa" — you can tell because his backpack says "VOLUNTEER" — to his adoring younger sister. Except, in the remake, the "little" girl is about her brother's age, and the two of them exchange some very telling glances.
All of which is more than enough to create a small community (or "fandom") of true believers on the internet. Archive of our Own, one of the premiere fan fiction sites on the internet, has three different stories in its "Folgers 'Home for the Holidays' Commercial" section:
While all three have their unique pleasures, the clear masterpiece is the near-10,000 word "Home for the Holidays," by "portland_rain", an experienced author who's also written fan fiction about, among other things, the music video for the Killers' "Crossfire," the video game Oregon Trail, and NPR's humorous news quiz show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Yes, Portland_rain's masterful tale of forbidden has the requisite incestuous phone sex scene, and yes, it can teach you about AIDS in Africa —
Matt hesitated. Yes. "Mothers bring in babies. And we try to help them, but they've been infected since birth. And there are drugs out there, drugs that can help prevent mothers passing on the virus to their kids, but they're so expensive. They're so hard to get when you're in a village hours away from any city and any pharmaceutical. And so mothers bring in their kids and we have to tell them that there's nothing we can do, because they didn't happen to be born in a western country where this all could have been prevented."
Libby pulled her legs up to her chest. "They have drugs for AIDS?"
— but its brutal final third, following (spoiler alert!) the brother's death during West African volunteer work, will remind you what the holidays are all about —
It had been four years since Matt fell to his death from a low cliff in western Africa, and Libby had been forced to recreate her world from the shattered pieces he'd left behind. [...] That Thanksgiving was the darkest point. Libby had refused to go home, opting instead to sit in her room alone, eat a PB&J sandwich and pointedly avoid any holiday tradition. That cold November day was a cruel mockery, one that Matt should have been home for, one that should have been joyful and celebratory and complete. So she nibbled on the edge of a sandwich, curled up on her bed and talked to her brother in her mind.
— family. Happy Holidays, everyone. Share this with someone you love.
[via Matt Langer]