Frame by frame, it's our Christmas story too!

By Tim Smith

The @ Home Weekend ‘E’-dition

How was your New Year’s celebration? Trust you were able to announce its arrival with many family connections completed, and memory making events realized. On we go . . . and isn’t that fun to say every January 1st?

Where have the last two years gone, it seems as though they have been lumped together into one, singular obstacle course. We make numerous and progressive steps forward, only to be knocked back on occasion. We must always stay the course, however – and we will as long as we believe in our creativity.

It is during times like these when, especially over the holidays, we stop and reflect on the gentler and more peaceful times in which we lived and worked.

That is why, during all of our Christmas Day festivities, (and really, and if truth be told, I for one watch until well after New Year’s Day) the 1983 classic film “A Christmas Story” has become a part of the year end, and year beginning tradition.

I just love every frame of this film, and having grown up just after the period covered, the colors, textures, images – and story line, capture my life, played out over and over again.

I often contemplate what home movies of my very early childhood would have looked like.

The fading black and white photos, with a few color images and even fewer Polaroid frames that still exist, are all that remain. They were so much more conservative back then; the future was today.

I don’t really have to worry about what our children will inherit; they also have this film to set our stages in historical perspective.

Just to simplify all of that, here is a bit from the film’s Wikipedia site, a bit lifeless, but otherwise informative:

“The film is presented in a series of vignettes, with narration provided by the adult Ralphie Parker reminiscing on one particular Christmas when he was nine years old. Ralphie wanted only one thing that Christmas, a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Ralphie’s desire is rejected by his mother, his teacher Miss Shields, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee’s department store, all giving him the same warning: 'You’ll shoot your eye out (Kid).' On Christmas morning, Ralphie receives some presents that he enjoys, but is disappointed not to find the rifle among them. When it appears that all of the presents have been opened, Ralphie’s father . . . directs him to one last box hidden in the corner, which proves to contain the rifle.”

The (anticipated) mishaps with the rifle commence, but what is really missing from this info site, and not to spoil the true brilliance of the film, are the characters, the situations that surround Ralphie’s eventual Christmas morning acquisition.

Not to say that this is a “guy” film, and most assuredly, every Baby Boomer will identify with each and every nuance of the film, to great delight. Every frame just makes me smile.

If you are looking for a great stocking stuffer for next year, here is a perfect solution; get a copy of the film. Note: With TCM running the film for 24 consecutive hours, you probably do not need it, however it is fun to stick in the home pc/laptop and watch during a break in business communications or over coffee at a favorite bistro.

Trust me, @ the latter, conversations will start as you laugh in remembrance.

On a personal note: The Daisy Manufacturing Company, the makers of the gun in the film, began production in Plymouth, Michigan, then, in the late '50s, moved the operation to Rogers, Arkansas, where I began my career as a theater arts educator two decades later.

The company/rifle history are well documented through their individual Wikipedia sites, and a museum dedicated to that Daisy story is also located in Rogers.

I purchased a Red Ryder rifle for my personal collection, and during Christmas morning, it sits proudly next to our tree, as a reminder of its importance in the lives of our four sons, who are all Eagle Scouts – with all eight eyes intact.

Remember, there is always an opening night, in our towns.


[For EFA-62: Luke 12:48: b, c]

(This is the @ Home Weekend ‘E’-dition of Where A r [ts] Thou? – Since 5/2020)

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