Thursday, December 27, 2012

'A Christmas Story' lives!

Every year we are treated to a barrage of Christmas specials and movies, but the one that has become the most pervasive is “A Christmas Story.” This charming story of a little boy obsessed with getting a particular BB gun for Christmas gets extensive airplay. One channel decided a few years back to take this little-seen movie and run it for 24 hours continually on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, apparently in an attempt to make everyone sick of it. Fortunately, there are so many nuances to the story, especially if you grew up a few decades back, that sitting through part or all of 12 straight showing can be done. I still like the movie, but I don’t watch it anymore if I can help it. I’ll wait a couple of years, then it will be more special to see.
I remember when “It’s a Wonderful Life” was on at least once a night during December on one channel or another. Then, due to copyright issues, only NBC could play the flick on television, first once then twice a year. Now it’s a little more special to see on television. Of course, that all changed with the release of VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray versions, and probably somewhere on the Internet.
But the overexposure of “A Christmas Story” has not taken away my appreciation for it. And just because I don’t sit down and watch it does not mean that “A Christmas Story” will not find me. If you remember, the neighbors of the Parkers had a pack of hound dogs that steal away the cooked turkey from the household and force Ralphie and family to the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner.
On Christmas Eve, I hosted my side of the family for our get-together. I did not bake anything this year, so the others brought the cookies, fudge, muffins, etc. Of course we couldn’t eat it all, so when the family left for their own homes, they left a healthy amount of goodies for the kids and I on platters on the dining room table. Actually there was so much, maybe I should say it was an unhealthy amount. Anyway, you get the picture.
In the evening we have a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church, so everything was left on the table, the mess from wrapping paper was still not quite cleaned up by the tree, and we trekked off for church. My three dogs were safely tucked away in the room where they stay when no one is home. At this point I should mention that the door to that room does not always latch securely, but it has never been a real problem.
When I arrived back at the house after church, I opened the door to go into the house. I was greeted by my three dogs, who were obviously quite happy. As it turned out, the mutts were probably on a sugar high. I looked at the dining room table to find… nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. There were several empty platters, some napkins and paper cups, and a couple of forks. That was it. The cookies, fudge, and other goodies that had been piled and stacked only two hours before had been reduced to a few crumbs that must have been too small to bother to lick up. That wasn’t the only disaster though, as what goes in eventually comes out, and there were those messes to be dealt with as well. The dogs were then shut up in the room, and I began the clean-up. It may not have been a whole turkey that I lost, but it was just as valuable in my book.
The kicker was that my family and I agreed to meet up with some others for Christmas dinner on the 25th. Where did we eat Christmas dinner? One of the only places that was open within five counties — a Chinese restaurant.
So, if you look out your window next week and see a man with a broken leg lamp tucked under one arm, a BB gun slung over the other shoulder, and a bar of Lifebuoy sticking out of his mouth, you’ll know who it is.

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