This is a 1983 film based on the short stories of author Jean Shepherd, who also narrates the film. We must have started the tradition right after it came out because as early as I remember we've been watching it during the holidays. I do love the movie--I think it's funny and just very, very real.
But I think what appeals to me most about it is just the tradition of it. It's almost like an extended family member that returns for another visit each Christmas. I love watching it because I know little Ralphie Parker's childhood was the same time as my dad's, so it gives me some insight into what kind of things he would have seen or may have experienced as a boy. I also think of my dad whenever I watch it because no one's got a true, gutteral laugh like his. If something really amuses him--I mean REALLY amuses him, his laugh is almost like a holler. You get this "Hoo-Hoo-Ha-Ha-Ha" sort of thing going on. His eyes tear up and his face gets red. Nothin' like it, I tell ya.
For those of you who have seen it, you'll understand when I say that for a long time I couldn't figure out why it was "so bad" for Ralphie to say "Oh, Fudge". "Fudge?" I'd think to myself. "What's so wrong with 'fudge'? Why'd he get Lifebuoy for that?"
Any mother can relate to the statement Jean Shephard makes in the narration, "My mother didn't get a hot meal for twelve years," as she is constantly getting up and down refilling family members' plates and fetching the salt and pepper. Parents can also relate to having a child like Randy, Ralphie's brother. "My kid brother hadn't eaten voluntarily in over three years."
Our family loves this movie so much that a few years ago, we all chipped in and bought my parents a leg lamp.
It was so popular in their front window that strangers would drive into their cul-de-sac just to get a glimpse of "electric sex gleaming in the window".
It's only November, but seeing the DVD on display at the store has just put me in the Christmas spirit. And it's wonderful to be where we'll hopefully have a white Christmas again. I want to put up lights. I want to listen to the Carpenters sing "Merry Christmas, Darling". I want to bake cookies and drink hot cocoa. I want to hang ornaments on the tree and wrap presents.
I've gotten myself so pumped for the holiday season--I feel like prancing down the hallway singing, " deck the halls with boughs of horry, ra ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra!"