Watching ‘A Christmas Story’ is Everyone’s Cult Christmas Eve Tradition


Christmas is about traditions.

Each family that celebrates the Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ has its own tradition that make the holiday extra special.  These are the ones you look forward to each year because they essentially are symbolic. You get  feelings of nostalgia just thinking about them.

Christmas eve has its own tradition. Watching TBS’s 24 hour marathon showing of the cult classic film, A Christmas Story, is a tradition for many.

It is for me and my younger sister Adama. We both have a habit of procrastinating on wrapping gifts until the very last minute. Personally, I have every intention each year to get my gift wrapping done way before Christmas eve. Yet, inevitably, the 24th of December will roll around and there will be at least a dozen unwrapped gifts hidden or stashed away in some back closet somewhere in my house.

Each year, my sister comes to my house and we head down to the basement and wrap gifts while watching  A Christmas Story until the wee hours of the morning.

In recent  modern times, there is also a gathering of large cult of people in social media, Facebook and Twitter, especially who are usually up, doing last minute wrapping, baking or prepping for Christmas meal the next day or just hanging around with family who came to visit.

There we tweet famous and popular quotes from the movie, share memes and photos and bond over the Interwebs with other fans of the movie.

There is a convention and the Ralphie’s home is actually a museum now.  For those of you who are clueless as to what I’m talking about, I love the museum’s summary here:

Set during a snowy Christmas season in 1940’s Indiana, nine-year-old Ralphie longs for the ideal Christmas gift, a 200-Shot, Range-Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” But when gruff dad and doting mom, and even a stressed-out Santa quote the usual BB gun warning, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Ralphie mounts a full-scale, hint dropping campaign that is a sly combination of innocence and calculation. The movie is not only about Christmas and BB guns, but also about childhood and a semi-dysfunctional family life.

Ralphie endures endless kid-sized trials and classic moments: A bully with “yellow eyes” and a rancid coonskin cap terrorizes him. There is a sequence where a kid is not merely dared but Triple-Dog-Dared to stick his tongue onto a frozen lamp post, and the fire department has to be called to remove him from the pole. Ralphie’s Old Man winning the “Major Award” of a garish lamp in the shape of a woman’s leg. Ralphie blurts out the Queen Mother of swear words and gets his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy soap. His long-awaited Little Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin translates a radio program’s top-secret message that turns out to be a crummy commercial. Even Santa is a scary fraud.

But Ralphie hangs tough and ends up getting his BB gun


This year, I’m spending the holidays with family abroad and sadly, am missing the wrapping tradition with my sis, but I’m thinking about it hence this post.

What are some of your family Christmas traditions?

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