Second only to Arthur’s Perfect Christmas in my personal pantheon of Christmas movies, is A Christmas Story. I remember the first time I saw it on Christmas Eve during one of it’s first few showings during the 24-hour marathon that TBS runs every year. My entire family (hey there mom and dad!) fell in love with it immediately. Curiously, we didn’t buy it for a couple of years.
Luckily, it’s been long enough now that we’ve fully incorporated it into our repitoire during the Christmas season. We now know it well enough to quote it at every opportunity and look forward to watching it every year.
Yet, what about the actual stories that create the foundations for everything we see? While deciding what to read, and continuing the non-fiction kick that I’ve been on for the last couple of months, I came across a book which compiled all Jean Shepherd’s different stories that made up the movie.
And, oh how I enjoyed reading them! They were different, quite strikingly so in certain points, but the changes made sense and were enjoyable to look for. Only the major story, Ralphie’s quest to get a red ryder bb gun for Christmas, actually takes place during the holiday season. The other stories, the little orphan annie secret decoder pin, the old man’s major award, the bumpus hounds and Ralphie’s incident with grover dill, all take place at different times of the year.
That doesn’t make the book any less enjoyable to read, though it may make it suitable for seasons other than Christmas. If you enjoy the movie, I highly recommend reading the stories, which are quick and fun. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, what are you waiting for?
What’s your favorite holiday book? Favorite movie of the season?