Summary: Learning from Ralphie what we want most at Christmas

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Classic TV Christmas

Getting what we Want Most at Christmas

A Christmas Story


The only thing nine-year-old Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun. Mom won’t even consider it. "You’ll shoot your eye out!" she proclaims, thus ending the argument before it gets started. Hope springs eternal in young Ralphie’s heart as he tries every possible angle to attain his goal.

Based on the memoirs of humorist Jean Shepherd, the film is a sweetly nostalgic look at suburban life in the 1940s, focused primarily upon the exploits and antics of young Ralphie who must deal with bullies, disappointments, and everything else that a young person faces when growing up.

Throughout it all he is convinced that if he just gets his Red Ryder BB Gun everything will be perfect.

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Ralphie is just like us. We all could write a list of the things we know would just make our life perfect. I can even remember praying for a specific Christmas gift when I was a child.

The Electro-Shot Shooting Gallery by MARX

I remember praying, “God if you just get me this toy for Christmas, will never want anything else.”

Guess what? I got it.

Guess what?

It wasn’t worth it.

A vintage toy site describes this item this way.

The Electro-Shot Shooting Gallery by Marx remains one of the all-time greats in the golden age of toys. This puppy was any kids dream - and it rarely failed to satisfy. Lots of fun - but subject to breakdown.

It jammed a lot. It also had the most annoying sound whenever it was.

The Greatest Christmas Present I ever wanted lacked satisfaction.

Ralphie’s greatest moment of satisfaction in “A Christmas Story” does not come from the Red Ryder BB Gun.

His greatest moment of joy comes form a glimpse of the Great Gift.

After one particularly trying day at school, Ralphie runs into the school bully while walking home. Tired of being teased, Ralphie surrenders to his rage. He pummels the bully and bursts into a string of obscenities. Ralphie’s mother hears his tirade and sends him up to his room. Waiting tearfully for his dad to come home, Ralphie anticipates the worst punishment.

Ralphie’s mother finds his younger brother, Randy, hiding under the kitchen sink. "Randy, what’s the matter? What are you crying for?" she asks.

"Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie!" he sobs. Mom assures Randy that everything is going to work out, but she too seems to be fretting about what may come.

Still locked in his room, Ralphie fears the worst: I heard the car pull up the driveway, and a wave of terror broke over me. He’ll know what I said—the awful things I said!

Hearing his dad’s voice, Ralphie walks downstairs to meet his fate. After some small talk, Dad asks, "What happened today?" Ralphie realizes it’s all about to come out. He looks at his mother with a pained expression.

Surprisingly, his mother responds, "Nothing much. Ralphie had a fight."

Tension rises as Dad puts down the paper and looks at Ralphie with a stern gaze. "A fight? What kind of fight?"

Mom replies, "Oh, you know how boys are. I gave him a talking to. Oh, I see the Bears are playing the Packers Sunday."

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