It first hit the airwaves 26 years ago. I was 16, and I remember sitting in the living room with my mom and my step-dad, Phil. When the commercial was over, they both looked at me (especially Phil) with the expression someone has when they are completely understood; like someone finally got just how soul-suckingly exhausting summer vacation can be for parents, and how the back-to-school season is both a gigantic pain-in-the-rear and also (as the song says) the most wonderful time of the year!

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As a kid, I didn't think it was that funny. How could going back to school be "wonderful"?

But as a grownup, and a parent, I completely understand this commercial on an entirely new level...and it's brilliant!

Staples had nailed it with this one, beautiful, simple, and hilarious commercial. The kids' expressions are perfect. The glee in the father's eyes as he nonchalantly tosses things into his cart was perfect. And that song, perfect.

It's a great bit of humor to balance what for many (kids, parents, and teachers alike) is an anxiety-inducing time of year.

So, as we all head into the final days of summer vacation, and go through the process of shopping for all the school supplies and organizing what will be the next 9 months of life for our little ones, let us take a moment to look back on what I think is the most accurate depiction of what every parent feels during this back-to-school season, and tip our caps to Staples--for coming up with one of my favorite commercials of all time!

If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat! Enjoy!

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