Watching A Christmas Story (1983) is almost like watching a video of your own Christmas past. I will give you a few examples:
- Everyone has that one relative that you learn all the curse words from but never dare say that you learned it by listening to them
- There is always that one kid at school who accepts the double dog dare (we used that a lot in the 80's)
- There is that doting mother or grandmother who never gets to sit down to have a warm meal
- That kid (usually me) that won't eat their food without being coxed in some way
- A yellow eyed bully that you just wish would go away
- Sometimes holiday meals hit a snafu and you have to have your meal and the local Chinese restaurant instead
Honestly, I can go on and on with examples. I feel like I lived through most of what Ralphie recounts in the films. A older Ralphie (voice by the author of the original story Jean Shepherd) retells the story about his one wish to own a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. He puts magazines about it inside his mother's magazines, writes his Christmas theme paper about it for school, and asks a shady acting Santa for it at the local store.
In the mix are stories about his friends, his bully, his baby brother, his father and mother, and the notorious soap incident. So many of the quirks and old fashioned themes playing throughout the film many of us have lived through as children ourselves. I think that is one of the reasons this film, which was set in 1940, has become a modern holiday classic.
That BB gun Ralphie wants equates to that Cabbage Patch doll that I went bonkers for back in 1985, the soap in the mouth, saying the "bad" word in front of your parent, being bundled up so much that you couldn't put your arms down, and having to wear that outfit that a relative made but you cannot bear to wear it-it all happened to me.
Has this film become a must see for your family during the holidays? What are you favorite parts of the film and why?