A Christmas Story has gone down in history as one of this season's classic gems. The film has touched the hearts of so many since its release in 1983. Thousands of families surely have yearly traditions that include watching this film. (My family's yearly film happens to be Christmas Vacation.) The story of Ralphie Parker and his never-ending quest to convince anyone who will listen that the greatest gift of all this year is the Red Ryder BB gun is something every one can understand during the holiday season.
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
Is the response he gets from everyone he asks: his mother, his teacher, even Santa! How dare they keep this child from arguably the best gift he could possibly ask for.
Okay, full honesty time. I remember really disliking this film when I was a kid. I just didn’t get the humor. A Christmas Story is very dry and witty and in my youth I was into more overt comedy like Three Stooges or classic Looney Tunes. It wasn’t until my teens that I really started digging the gags and the realistic yet constantly funny look at childhood presented in the film. Ralphie Parker reminded me of myself. In fact, he’s every child at Christmas!
The older you get, the more this film improves. It really is a Christmas classic that perfectly encapsulates the feelings we all had as a child: the excitement of opening your presents and the hope that it was what you asked Santa for that year. Sometimes we got exactly what we asked for. Other times we got gifts we hated. Usually clothes, like socks. Which of course we covet as we get older. It's wonderful to think back to that innocent time before we had to deal with things like bills or car insurance. I would give anything to go back to the year 2000, and experience that carefree life yet again, even if I still had to put up with a white box or two.
Ralphie had his bunny pjs, I had the dreaded white box!
What child wants to unwrap a present and see THIS?! Nothing good ever came in a white box like this. Only clothes. Who wants clothes?! I wanted gifts! And to a little kid, the term "gift" only meant one thing:
But as you get older, the toys change. And as a man who enjoys a good beer, I felt like little Ralphie discovering that Red Ryder BB gun under the tree on Christmas morning when I first tried Karbach's Yule Shoot Your Eye Out. Each year, Karbach releases this delicious seasonal beer which, as you can see, has been inspired by the film A Christmas Story. This delectable little beverage has notes of caramel, cocoa and citrus. It's become one of my favorite beers for its smooth finish and perfect holiday taste.
And so this year I decided to combine these two loves of mine, and watch A Christmas Story while downing some liquid gold inspired by the Old Man’s Major Award. What follows are the notes resulting from that adventure. The more I watched, the more I drank. And the more I drank, the less legible my words became. Of course this opening explanation, the conclusion, and the addition of screenshots and gifs came at a later, more sober point. But I took care not to correct any spelling or grammar errors in the body of this article in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the experience. I hope you enjoy.
(Pictured above: not my dog)
So, is the movie ready to play? Have you got your seasonal beer? Perhaps with your favorite furry friend to snuggle with by the warm fire?
Alright then, let's start the movie!
Red Ryder is such an old school American mascot. The manly cowboy who shoots first and asks questions later. A lot of folks would say that type of role mode is out of date, but this film so perfectly captures how a kid looks up to fictional characters like that.
Love the brothers fighting.
You seriously named your kids Ralphie and Randy. Ouch. Classic.
I completely forgot about Ralphie thinking he’s so clever by putting the BB gun ad in his mom’s magazine. Yeah mom’s not gonna find it odd that there is a full color page in a completely black and white magazine. Nothing suspicious about that. Totally normal.
The dad gets funnier the older you get. How the hell does the mom know the horse is named Victor? Who the Hell is Victor?
Ralphie just told them about bears thinking it'll get them to think about a BB gun.
And here is the first mention of THE DREADED FURNACE!
We also have the first of Ralphie's requests for the Red Ryder BB gun. How do you think that goes over with mom?
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
Pretty sure every single parent ever had told their kids “there’s starving people in China” in an attempt to get their kids to eat their food.
Ralphie’s fantasy about taking out Black Bart is wonderful. He even has the chew!
Good luck getting away with that joke now.
This child just fantasized about murdering people. Nice.
The Xs on the eyes really let me know those fantasy burglars are dead. Thanks for the clarification.
When dad shushes the house to hear the furnace…. the tapestry of curses that hangs over Michigan can’t be beat.
It's a never-ending battle, Old Man. That furnace will take you to your grave.
Mom putting on Randy's jacket leads to one of the best jokes.
“I can’t put my arms down!”
“You’ll put your arms down when you get to school.”
Mom wraps him back up as he cries. End of scene. Best mom ever.
I’m only 15 minutes in? Wow, I gotta slow my drinking down or I won’t be able to make it through.
Ah yes, the flag pole scene. Another classic. I love how adult Ralphie narrates the ins and outs of childhood rituals like “double dog daring” and the entire lineup of dares ending in the dreaded triple dog-dare!
Poor Flick. He’s done for! He can’t say no. A triple dog-dare?! You can't come back from that! That tongue is done for. Stuck, stuck, stuck, stuck! And then… the screams. This could be a horror film. And then they just leave him there. Brutal.
That wide shot through the window kills me. He’s flailing his arms like a beached whale.
What did they put on his tongue? It looks like they wrapped a bandage AROUND the tongue and tied it on top like a bow.
The teacher staring at Ralphie the whole time when she talks about guilt is a joke I never got as a child. And now it’s hilarious.
Then we are introduced to THE BULLIES! Led of course by:
There’s something about this guy that remains top tier bully. The hat, the braces, the hair, the jacket, the fingerless gloves... and that laugh. It’s the perfect storm of bully.
“It was his only defense.” Poor Randy.
Ralphie reads the first two sentences of his essay about what he wants for Christmas and then says “wow, that’s great.”
Oh the Bumpus hounds!
You could never get away with the dog ear caught in the door joke today. It’s honestly gut busting, but you’d get people yelling about animal cruelty and all that.
But the dogs are unimportant because this scene ushers in the single greatest announcement ever put on cinema:
"The Old Man has won a MAJOR AWARD! And it arrives tonight."
Second time mom has brought up starving people. She’s obsessed.
Randy, you're gross. Cut it out.
I'm with you Old Man.
A knock on the door. It continues. Someone is outside.
"It’s here!" THE MAJOR AWARD!
"Fragile, must be Italian!"
And hot damn is the Old Man right! That leg truly is a gift befitting of the gods.
This is also the first time I’m realizing that in this scene, the Old Man is Ralphie. He’s another child on Christmas. He’s so excited, openig his gift and not knowing what is inside! And he’s so proud of it! He won it! It’s a major award!
Mom’s shocked groans when he says he’s going to put it in the front window are hilarious.
Her desperation and horror at the realization that this is indeed going out front in full view of the entire neighborhood. Tonight. She is in pain.
Back in school. Cue second fantasy. Ralphie’a teacher get a little too excited reading his essay about his BB gun.
Calm down ma’am, he’s just a child.
When we return home, the battle of the lamp has is in full swing! Round 1 gos to mom fro turning the lamp off as they leave for the tree.
Just look at te Old Ma's face. He lost this battle, but the war is far from over!
No one looks happy singing jingle bells. Not a single one. They’re just yelling it
"Four minutes! Time me!"
Curse words continue as the old man changes his tire. But this time, the curss aren't coming from the oLD mAN.
He said THE word. The dreaded word! And his mom screams like she’s just seen a dead body. Look ow she grips the Old Man's jacket.
I do’t ever have any memories of my parents washin my mouth out ith soap.
\And if they did, and their reading this, mom, dad, feel free to comment and tell the world I’m a lier. Like Ralphie.
You son of a bitch; throwing your buddy under the bus like thag! You deserve that soapy mouth. When asjed where Ralphie may ave heard that word, you can hear Schwartz’ mom clearly say "his father".
I’m sorry, but in ths instance, child abuse is funny. Can I say that? Will I get in trouble for sayin that? I jus can’t not laugh hearing tere screams of the kid over the phone as hi mom takes out her angeron him. It’s just so over-thetop and ridiculous. I mean, just look at Ralphie's mom's reaction.
Cue blind man Ralphie fantasy. He really goes hard for the guilt trip.
The consistent soap opera moments and over-the-top acting. Like this brilliant moment.
This farcical acting maks the more outrageous an dated joke (like beating a child) feel less mean spirited and more if a satirical look atow kids used tobe raised. Don’t take it too seriously.
I want to point out somethng here wen w go back to school: Every. Single. gift. on the teacher’s desk is an apple or fruit if some kind. Look, ths one kid even wrapped it!
Oh joy, ANOTHER fruit!
The decoder ring is the perfect meaphor for childhood.
You put all thiseffort and excitement into something, thinking thi could be a dramayic and incredible moment of life, but when you finish it’s just
"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch."
Look Ralphie, you stumbled upon somethin that you’ll remember the rest of yo ur life. This is a lesson and as much as it hurts it’s betterthat you learn it now.
And thus we have THE MOMWNT. The demise of the most prestigous award. Fall that poor poor lamp. It deserve s a soldiers funeral. Full honors.
Telling your wife she’s jealous that you’ve won an award is a pretty petty thing to say.
The Ild man is slipping into insanity. That award, which he won. He won that you know. And that win went right to his head! The ego in this man
Ahhh poor Flick. Don't go to the bullies justbecause they ell you.
C+! Ralphie only gotaC+! And was di she write there?
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
OK Back to Scut being a dick.
This moment when Ralphie stands up to Scut is literally what every bullied child dreams of.
No. I'm gonna kick you ass!
It perfectly encpsultes what a child who hasbeen bullied for along tim would want to do.
Ralphie has become the Old Man, the streams of curse words now coming out of his mouth. This is what is means to grow up Ralphie. You became a man just now.
And the immediate tears when mom finds him.
Wow. That’s powerful. What a beautifully real moment right there.
But one thing I promise you - Scut won’t be bullying Ralphie anymore. You know that thag is, Ralphie?
Oh Randy, hiding in the cuboard.
And mom keeps the fiht hush hush from the Old Man. Good on ya mom!
And now we get to the BEST PART OF THE MOVIE!
The scene with Santa was always my favorite.
"HO... HO... HO"
there’s just something about hat sayng slowed down and comin right before Santa puts his boot toRalphie’a face that is so menacing. And makes melaugh so ard. Santa learly hates his life and his job.
So do he elves.
Look at that efs face. He killed a child that night.
They definitely enjoy scaring the kids. Grabbing the kids, shoving them on his lap and then screaming Ho Ho Ho i their faces.
Lwhat do you want for Christmas little boy”
Santa sounds like damn serial killer. All in POV TOO.
Th kids dont even seem toenjoy the slide back down. hey seem terrified.
And when Ralphie asks Sant for his gf f choic, how do he respon?
You guess it!
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
And that kid withthe aviatr gogles and hat is so weird. “I like Sanat” stare at Ralhie for far too long.
“I like the wxard of Oz” ok dude. Back up off me!
But it’s all so fucking funny. The okder I getthe funnier thise bits get. Everything about this scene is comedy perfection.
It’s kinda great that theone peson Ralphie didnt ak about te gun was theone that goitfo him - the Old Man!
Tthat’s a great Father/son momwnt thag you don’t realize until you’re older.
Ralphie grabs Rady and shoved im to te ground in an efort to get upstairs to bed first. Good on ya Ralph!
Ah, te crips colear morng. Chstms is fainly here!
And with it the beauty ofghe frozen winter wodnerlad. A blanlet of snow ansice has covered the landscpe which reminds me of my chrisnsa in my hometown. Inatedn the snow except on Christma.
My family and I evenpick a person play Santa too Each year. too
They threw out the socks!!! Just like I did! Hang on to tose boys, you’ll covet the like gold in the future. Actally can I have those?
She crushe his nuts with a bowering ball. ” A blue ball”
There itbis! The bunny phs!! Oh Ralph, she went to all thag trouleb to makenit you shoud where it.
But Crstmas isn't ove yet.
The whole were done opwning preswnts but then sudenly there’s a new gift is exactly what my parewnts did whemthe orignal Xbox cameout. Thag was the yer of the dreaded white bix. The box that would livin infamy.
FUCK YOU BOX!
Ad here is where drems com tru Raphe.
Oh Ralphie. Wnjoy that BB gun.
Enjoy the moent befire you shoot our eye out.
What e firt thing he dos? You got it!
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
Oh wait nevermidn it was a icicle. 😉*wink*😉
He broke the 4th wall!! Hahaha nice
No!!! Curse ou Bumpus Dogs!!! Yhe old man’s Turkey!!!! Nooooooo
Dammit all o Hell! The goldn idol ofthe Chsritmas dinner!
Ralh hans his mom the ame hanstowel she use n his eye hahaha
And we end hre on Fa-Ra—ra -Ra. is this joke funny now in 2021? Am I allowed to laugh at this? Or will the polic break ny door down forfinding humor in mispronouced words. The world may ever no. Unless I’m in prisons tomorro. I’m fonna do it anway cuz it’s hilariis.
Ah yes, a crooked duck for Chritbas. Classy af.
Nevrmid jt wnds ona rather sweet note witj mom and th Old Msn wsyxhing the falin sno and Ralphi anc Randy (stil ouch on thoise names) dreminh in third beds, aftr abther grat Chrsitnas. Jysy likea perfct Cridtnas shood en.
As fo mr...
I shot my eye out!
So another year comes to a close. And even though I could barely focus, let alone type, at the end of this particular viewing of A Christmas Story (thank you Karbach), it brings a sense of comfort knowing that each year Ralphie will ask for that damn BB gun. And every year Santa will tell him how dangerous it is before booting him down a slide. Each year Flick gets stuck to the pole. And each year Ralphie stands up to Scut.
It's no surpirse A Christmas Story has stood the test of time. There’s a charm to this film that is inescapable. A certain breezy simplicity that lets it flow on past you as you watch it. And I think that all comes down to how incredibly genuine and heartfelt the characters are. A Christmas Story truly encapsulates the giving, wanting, and all the drama of the holiday season. So whether you’re enjoying the holidays with your friends, family, or on your own, don’t forget to spend a little bit of time with your friends, the Parker family. And maybe a little bit of Yule Shoot Your Eye Out to make things interesting.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOPLIDAYS EVERYONE!