Why “A Christmas Story” is the Best Christmas Story


Take a break from Hallmark movies and watch this Christmas classic

We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, which means it’s time for people to use way too much time and energy to put up Christmas lights, and the radio stations to play Michael Buble on a continuous loop. But it also means it Christmas movie season, which provides ample opportunity to return to some classic holiday movies. Along with my tradition of watching “Die Hard” on Christmas Eve, I also make sure to watch “A Christmas Story” at some point during Christmas day.  Here is why “A Christmas Story” is the best Christmas movie.

  1. Ralphie is the perfect Christmas child.

The movies main character Ralphie is quite possibly the most relatable movie character ever. Peter Billingsley perfectly portrays the excitement, anticipation, and possible crushing disappointment of being a nine-year-old at Christmas time. Put that together with voice over dialogue that brings us into Ralphie’s innocent head, and you’ve got a near perfect representation of most little kids during Christmas.

  1. The Old Man

Another character that we have met before is Ralphie’s father “The Old Man”. Darren McGavin’s embodiment of a loud and proud curmudgeon that spends most of the movie fixing various mechanical problems and cursing out dogs is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Fun Fact: The dream actor to play the old man was Jack Nicholson, however they abandoned the idea for multiple reasons. Firstly, Nicholson’s salary was almost double the budget of the whole movie and secondly because Nicholson was hot off filming a very different type of movie: “The Shining.” I imagine the movie would have been different if every time the Old Man threatened anybody, I thought of him swinging an axe and screaming “Here’s Johnny!”

  1. The Leg Lamp

For a movie stuffed full of iconic moments perhaps my favorite moment is the unpacking of the Old Man’s reward from work, the electric leg lamp that is declared as the new living room centerpiece much to Mrs. Parkers disliking. This resulting in a hilarious “Battle of the Lamp” that would end shattered into literal pieces.

  1. That awesome triple dog dare scene

Easily the most memorable scene from the movie see’s Ralphie’s friend Ryan stick his tongue to a frozen flagpole after being mocked by his classmates with the dreaded “Triple Dog Dare”. Another unique and hilarious narration from Ralphie’s brain, puts the hilarious finishing touches on a scene that would go down in Christmas movie history.

  1. Early Viral Marketing

At this point Ralphie’s Christmas is looking terrible but bad becomes worse at the hands of the little orphan Annie radio show. After weeks of unsuccessful code breaking the excitable kid finally cracks it, only to learn that little orphan Anne is just distressed by the lack of Ovaltine consumption.

  1. The Christmas ending

Nothing has gone right for the parker family, and following a close call with the notorious Red Ryder BB Gun and an unexpected attack on Christmas dinner by the aforementioned dogs they decide to scrap their plans and head out for an Asian Christmas meal. Completing our story with a reassuring ending and a smiling duck.

  1. The legacy

“A Christmas Story” has grown in popularity every year since its theatrical release in 1983, and become a holiday classical. While most movie sets are torn down and used for other projects the Christmas Story house is still very much together. The Parkers home, where the movie was filmed, is in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio on a regular street in the middle of a neighborhood. It was transformed into a museum for the film, and if you are a fan of the movie, and happen to find yourself in Cleveland, I highly recommend taking the tour. Upon my visit last year, I was allowed to hold the Red Ryder BB Gun in my own two hands, unloaded of course (I wouldn’t want to shoot me out).