Heartwarming viral video shows what's really important on Christmas

An emotional short film about a man and his late mother has been viewed millions of times as it reminds people of what really matters on Christmas.
Love is a Gift - Christmas Short Film
Actor Chris Ilston stars in a short video about a man counting down the days to Christmas for a special reason.Phil Beastall/Facebook
/ Source: TODAY

Editor's Note: This story was originally posted in November 2018.

The best Christmas presents are the ones you can't put a price tag on.

That sentiment is perfectly depicted in a heartwarming short film called "Love Is a Gift" that has been viewed more than 10 million times on Facebook as people get in the Christmas spirit.

British videographer Phil Beastall, 32, who created the two-minute clip in 2014, reposted it after being inspired by a tear-jerking Christmas ad featuring Elton John.

The video portrays a man counting the days until Christmas, when he will listen to a cassette tape with a message from his late mother.

"I just wanted to make something impactful that would resonate," Beastall told BBC News. "I thought it would be a nice story to tell. I just wanted to create something that would remind people that we are lucky to be alive."

Tears roll down the man's face as he listens to the final cassette in a yearly series that his mother made for him.

"It's time to say goodbye,'' she says. "Just remember how much I love you. Never forget that, OK? I will always be your mum."

Beastall decided to re-release his short video, which he made for about $63, after seeing a holiday commercial for U.K. department store John Lewis & Partners. The clip shows Elton John throughout his life with a piano as his constant companion.

Beastall's film was not inspired by a true story. His mother, Linda Beastall, 62, joked to the British newspaper The Sun that "I’m still very much alive – and I plan to stay that way, thank you!”

"It’s so lovely,'' Linda said of the video. "I think it’s impossible not to be moved by it. But then that is typical of Phil, he is such a sensitive person."