Be Sure to Watch Your Christmas Story

Merry Christmas everyone. I hear there’s another holiday that involves oil that burned for a while … and another one that involves presents and children, but myyyy holiday involves indoor trees and old fat men that defy physics.

In the Christmas spirit, I immediately reached for my copy of A Christmas Story. I think this film holds a special places in many people’s hearts, even if it’s been completely “overplayed” by TBS every December. I’ve noticed more and more people complaining about being sick of it each year. It’s weird, I thought that only radio stations could overplay material, but apparently TBS proves that tv stations can do it too.

Still, this movie rules. It’s a great comedy and a great Christmas movie. It manages to quite brutally make fun of many of the Christmas traditions and cliches, as well as the cliches of childhood, while cherishing these moments at the same time. 

Quickly, for those of you who miss out on the beauty of the TBS Christmas Story marathon, it’s a film from 1983 about a boy who really wants a BB gun for Christmas. The rest is subplot and childhood fantasy. 

It plays like a series of short stories, each one demonstrating an aspect of Ralphie’s childhood. Many of them have to do with horrible disappointment of some sort. One good one is when he waits and waits to get his decoder so that he can read a “secret message” from his favorite radio show, only to find out that its an advertisement. My absolute favorite scene is when he goes to see Santa in the mall, only to be completely betrayed by his own expectations. 

It’s damn funny too. If you put it in the category of Christmas films, it completely destroys everything else. The character of Ralphie’s father is particularly great. He reminds me of a grumpier version of the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. Without a doubt, it’s the funniest Christmas movie you’ll ever find. Seriously.

There’s a reason that this airs constantly in the Christmas season though. It isn’t just mean joke about how the dreams and hopes of childhood never quite match up to real life. It also carries with it some great nostalgia and an appreciation for the better side of Christmas. The film doesn’t go waaaay out of its way to harp on this, like A Wonderful Life kinda does.

In the end we see a really shitty Christmas tree and a kinda mediocre family. We’ve learned all their horrible faults and quirks. Yet, without spelling it out, the film brings the awful family together the same way that only Christmas can. Yeah, okay, if you watched it three times last year, go ahead and count yourself out of this one. 

But if you haven’t seen A Christmas Story in a while go check it out… and watch for how they balance the comedy with the tender Christmas spirit. I triple dog dare ya 🙂

note : there may or may not be a post on the 25th. Big things are coming to the reddingmineshaft in the new year!


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December 2008
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