All About The Christmas Story

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart

Christmas Story

Did you know? - Director Bob Clark stated in the film's commentary CD that he and author Shepherd wished for the movie to be seen as "amorphously late 30s, early 40s." The film is not specifically about a given year, it is about a particular time in American family life. The film appears to be set roughly around the tail end of the Great Depression but before the United States involvement in World War II. There are references throughout the film that viewers enjoy linking to particular years, and if one connects a reference to a particular year, the movie can be dated as being as early as 1935 or as late as 1947.

The Storyline

The film is set in the city of Hammond, Indiana in the late 1940s. Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas: "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time."

Between run-ins with his younger brother Randy and having to handle school bully Scut Farkus, and his sidekick Grover Dill, Ralphie does not know how he will ever survive long enough to get the BB gun for Christmas.

The plot revolves around Ralphie's overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to his owning the precious Red Ryder BB gun: the fear that he will shoot his eye out. In each of the film's three acts, Ralphie makes his case to another adult; each time he is met by the same retort.

When Ralphie asks his mother for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, she says, "No, you'll shoot your eye out." Next, when Ralphie writes an essay about wanting the BB gun for Miss Shields, his teacher at Warren G. Harding Elementary School, Ralphie gets a C+, and Miss Shields writes "P.S. You'll shoot your eye out" on it.

Finally, Ralphie asks an obnoxious department store Santa Claus for a Red Ryder BB gun, and Santa responds, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid. Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!", before pushing Ralphie down a long slide with his boot.

One day after he gets the C+ on his composition, Ralphie is struck in the face with a snowball thrown at him by the bully Scut Farkus who then begins to tease and taunt Ralphie.

Ralphie finally reaches his breaking point and then charges at Farkus knocking him down, and after knocking down Grover Dill, who tries to intervene for his pal, proceeds to beat Scut's face bloody.

During the fight, Ralphie begins to swear non-stop as he lands blow after blow to the squealing Farkus.

Ralphie's mother shows up and pulls her son off the bully, and takes him home. This part of the film occurs shortly after a scene where Ralphie gets into trouble for swearing while helping his father fix a flat tire. Ralphie is worried about the swearing and is sure he will be in big trouble when his father gets home from work.

Instead, Ralphie's mother tells his father about the fight casually at the dinner table. She then changes the subject of the conversation to an upcoming Chicago Bears game, distracting his father and getting Ralphie off the hook in the process.

On Christmas morning, Ralphie looks frantically for a box that would hold the BB gun to no avail. He and his brother have quite a few presents, but he is disappointed because he did not get the gun.

His disappointment turns to joy as his father points out one last half-hidden present, ostensibly from Santa. As Ralphie unwraps the BB gun, Mr. Parker explains the purchase to his none-too-thrilled wife, stating that he had one himself when he was 8 years old.

Ralphie goes out to test his new gun, shooting at a paper target perched on top of a metal sign, and predictably gets a ricochet from the metal sign. This ricochet ends up hitting just below his eye, which causes him to flinch and lose his glasses. While searching for the glasses, Ralphie ends up stepping on them, breaking them.

However, he concocts a story to his mother about an icicle falling on him and breaking his glasses, which she believes. Suddenly, a horde of the next door neighbor's dogs, which frequently bother Ralphie's father, manages to get into the house, trash the kitchen and eat the turkey that was prepared for that evening's holiday feast. Making a last-minute decision, Mr. Parker takes the family out to a Chinese restaurant where they have a hilarious time dining on what the narrator calls "Chinese Turkey".

At the end of the story, we see Ralphie lying in bed on Christmas night with his gun by his side. Randy is holding the toy zeppelin he received. The voiceover states that this was the best present he received or would ever receive.

The Tree Gets His Picture Taken

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

At Prevezia

The Christmas Story
Del and Vicky are in uniform to watch the movie

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story
Vicky tries to hypnotize Del

Did you know? - A chicken can be hypnotized, or put into a trance, by holding its head down against the ground, and continuously drawing a line along the ground with a stick or a finger, starting at its beak and extending straight outward in front of the chicken. If the chicken is hypnotized in this manner, it will remain immobile for somewhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes, continuing to stare at the line.

This may not be clinical hypnosis, but instead a case of tonic immobility. Instead of a hypnotic state, the chicken's reactions are more akin to a turtle moving into its shell, or a deer freezing from a spotlight--a defensive mechanism intended to feign death, albeit poorly.

This technique is useful for farmers who need to slaughter a chicken and do not have help immediately available. The first known written reference for this method came in 1646, in Mirabile Experimentum de Imaginatione Gallinae by Athanasius Kircher.

Another technique of hypnosis is to hold the chicken face up with its back on the ground, and then run your finger vertically downwards from the chicken's wattles to just above its vent. The chicken's feet are exposed, which allows easy application of medication for foot mites, etc. To wake up the chicken, clap your hands or give the chicken a gentle shove.

One can also hypnotize a chicken by mimicking how it sleeps - with its head under its wing. In this method, you hold the bird firmly, placing its head under its wing, then, gently rock the chicken back and forth and set it very carefully on the ground. It should stay in the same position for about 30 seconds.

H B Gibson, in his book Hypnosis - its Nature and Therapeutic Uses, states that the record period for a chicken remaining in hypnosis is 3 hours 47 minutes.

 

The Christmas Story
Jeanette is wondering what she got herself in to!

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Luba and Jeanette in deep discussions, notice sneaky Greg is gone

The Christmas Story
Del is hypnotized

Back Home For The Movie

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Paul andJeanette are ready

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Greg brought a ton of goodies for the movie watching and Luba wants to find out about the leg lamp

The Christmas Story
The movie gets better everytime you watch it!

The Christmas Story
Big smiles

The Christmas Story
He paints a tapestry of profanity that still hangs across the countryside

Did you know? - The original meaning of the adjective profane (Latin: "in front of", "outside the temple") referred to items not belonging to the church, e.g. "The fort is the oldest profane building in the town, but the local monastery is older, and is the oldest building," or "besides designing churches, he also designed many profane buildings".

As a result, "profane" and "profanity" has therefore come to describe a word, expression, gesture, or other social behavior which is socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rudeness, vulgarism, desecrating, or showing disrespect.

Other words commonly used to describe profane language or its use include: cuss, curse, pejorative language, swearing, expletive, oath, bad word, dirty word, strong language, irreverent language, obscenity language, choice words, blasphemy language, foul language, and bad or adult language. In many cultures it is less profane for an adult to curse than it is for a child, who may be reprimanded for cursing.

The Christmas Story
Placing the leg lamp in the front window

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The lamp is lit....

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Giggles everywhere

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Everyone enjoys the movie

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Tra Ra Ra Ra Ra
Ra Ra Ra Ra