Christmas Can Be Cool – A Christmas Story

22 Dec

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TBS doesn’t show A Christmas Story on repeat all day on December 25 for nothing; it is the good-time, feel-great Christmas movie. What makes it so noteworthy is the way it blends specificity with generality. The characters are fully formed on their own, yet also resemble people in our own lives. Darren McGavin is Ralphie’s Old Man, but he’s also everyone’s Old Man – our fathers may not have won as major of an award as that leg lamp, but we all watched him obsess over something just as absurd. Ralphie is us as we remember ourselves – we may not have wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but we all wanted something just as wonderful. Jean Shepherd, whose work In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash served as the basis for the film (he also narrates), specialized in this kind of nostalgic story-telling. A Christmas Story never missteps, always centering its focus on recognizable family dynamics and universal truths; it is the movie equivalent of a comforting childhood blanket.

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