Christmastime Is Here: A Christmas Story

I feel the Christmas noose beginning to tighten.

The Christmas noose began to tighten today, as it is Black Friday. If you don’t like the negative imagery associated with Christmas, just take a look at this site that shows how many Black Friday deaths and injuries have been tallied up thus far. There are some shockingly negative things associated with Christmas, especially since its origins are deeply grounded in something positive and associated with the Light of the World. I’ve come to the conclusion that the season of giving has become the season of taking in order to give. There’s something wrong when a person’s cause of death is being trampled by a herd of Moms trying to buy the latest and greatest toy for their child.

So, this Christmas season, I want to focus on films that give me the warm fuzzy feeling inside and share my opinions and thoughts on some of the Christmas classics I’ve come to love. Hopefully these films will allow you to forget your troubles and focus on faith, family, and giving, which are staples to the Christmas attitude.

The other day, a friend of mine told me she had never seen this film. My first thought was, “Wow, you must not have cable television” (which is okay, I don’t have it anymore) and secondly, “WHAT?!” How, on God’s green and beautiful earth, have you surpassed the millions of laughs associated with bunny pajamas and leg lamps? My dear friend, love yourself. Go watch it! I say the same to you, reader.

I think the importance of this film is nostalgia and satirical humour connecting back to childhood memories. The story originates from Jean Shepherd’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, which follows Shepherd’s own journey back to the town in which he grew up. Many events in the film are present in the novel, but there are other stories not featured in the film that I busted a gut over—I highly recommend the book if you enjoy A Christmas Story. His style of writing is hyperbolic to the point of ridiculousness and the film plays that up in Ralphie’s desire to impress others with his Christmas wishlist item: the Red Ryder BB gun. Probably my favourite scene with a strong hyperbolic theme happens when Ralphie hands in his English assignment.

The reason why the satirical humor works is not because of the scenarios taking place, but our ability to relate to the foolishness of being a child. We’re not laughing at Ralphie, we’re laughing at ourselves and the moments in our lives that went terribly awry when we thought we had it all figured out. “You’ll shoot your eye out kid?” Nah, I know what I’m doing. “Oh my God, I shot my eye out.” The classic cause and effect. “Don’t touch the oven, Hilary, it’s hot.” Oh please, I wouldn’t do that. “Oh my word, this stove at Kabuki burned my hands!” The ability to show innocence and perhaps ignorance in childhood is laughable. That’s why I love A Christmas Story.

Over the month of December I will be looking at various Christmas films, but I am curious to find out your favourites. Perhaps you will remind me of one and I can blog about it! Since the overall concept of my blog is a “double take”, I will be doubling up on humour this week. My next post will feature yet another humourous Christmas tale. Until then, ladies and geraniums..

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