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Why Everyone Loves A Christmas Story

May 9, 2008
Christmas trees, fruit cake, presents, carols, bickering relatives, and the sound of an adult telling a bespectacled eight year old boy You'll shoot your eye out! These are some of the most important things of any holiday season. If the last piece of the aforementioned Christmas merriments is unfamiliar to you, then many would say that you have not received the full Christmas experience.

That line comes from the Christmas classic, appropriately titled, A Christmas Story. It is the tale of eight year old Ralphie Parker and his quest to obtain "an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing' which tells time."

However, what may seem to be a simple Christmas wish falls upon the ears of an overly protective mother, his teacher Ms. Shields, and a rather apathetic Santa Claus. However, the movie is built on more than merely a desire for a BB gun as Ralphie's father brags over his major award (a plastic lamp shaped like a woman's leg).

Uttering the dreaded F-dash-dash-dash-word, being ripped off by the Ovaltine company through the Little Orphan Annie radio show decoder pin, and contending with the neighborhood bully Scott Fargus. All of these things help create wonderful characters that are so humanistic that one could probably find a member of their own family who at least slightly resembles one of the quirky characters in personality.

It is these realistic portrayals of characters that make the movie so memorable. Especially since they were adapted from the memoirs of Mr. Jean Shepherd In God We Trust, All others Pay Cash.

Perhaps it is the simple idea of writing a realistic story about Christmas that appeals to people more than the shear hilarity of the film. Maybe what makes people love the movie is that it gives a completely un-magical look at Christmas, and yet one can still be charmed by the earnestness of the movie. But no matter what, year after year families huddle around the TV set and laugh at Ralphie's exploits and childish imagination.

A Christmas Story has been permanently emblazed into the American subconscious because it tells a story in a more modern setting that, despite taking place in the 1940s, still resonates with society today. It tells about a Christmas anyone could have experienced at one point in their life. And it is for that reason, it has been implanted in the hearts of many.
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