Way before TBS began running its annual 24-hour Christmas Day marathon of Bob Clark’s holiday staple A Christmas Story, I had my own round-the-clock screenings of the timeless tale at my home. Because of my cultish love of the classic film, I’ve become something of an expert on all things Ralphie Parker and have decided to share some lessons I’ve learned from the feel-good flick with you.
You should not need to see A Christmas Story to know that putting your tongue on a frozen flagpole is a bad idea. People pee on those schoolyard monuments, for Pete’s sake! Even if you are considering giving in to a triple dog dare, just take a look at poor Flick. I don’t think he had a very holly, jolly Christmas with his mouth all bandaged up. Don’t be that guy.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but in case you didn’t believe your parents, Ralphie proved them right. His dream gift became a real-life nightmare when he nearly shot his eye out. If there is a lesson to be learned from this painful mistake, it’s not just that guns – even BB guns – aren’t toys, but that you shouldn’t shoot at targets that can easily ricochet.
Forget what the songs, movies and stories say – any and every Santa Claus that YOU will actually meet will be a miserable impostor. From the army of crooked Kringles in Jingle All the Way to Billy Bob Thornton’s boozy St. Nick in Bad Santa to the infamous fraudulent Father of Christmas in this film, there’s no denying that, in reality, Santa sucks.
I can’t blame the Parker’s for heading to Chinatown after losing their bird to the mangy Bumpus hounds. It is a holiday, and a family’s got to eat. However, after witnessing the beheading of a Peking duck and the destruction of a classic carol (Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, Ra-ra-ra-ra!) at the hands of a Szechuan staff, it’s safe to say that Chinese food should not be on the menu at your Christmas convention.
Through rain, sleet, hail or snow, you can always count on your parents to make your Christmas wishes come true. Even though Ralphie was bothered by bullies, rebuffed by Santa and punished by his mother, his old man made it right by delivering that treasured BB gun and in this gesture lies the moral of the story: Life isn’t always fair and though you can’t always get what you want, every once in a while you do. [Click here and jump right to the :40 second mark to see Ralphie’s Christmas wish come true]