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.

(Watch this Video Clip with me.)

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."

A smile breaks across Ralphie’s face, and he beams at his mother. Ralphie’s greatest moment of joy comes when he realizes the power of the great gift—forgiveness.

What he wanted most was a BB Gun

He Got Bunny Pajamas

When he Got the BB Gun—Got hurt

The Great Gift he got was Mercy and Grace


T.S. Turn with me this morning to Matthew Chapter Two and let’s look at the lives of a few individuals committed to discovering the greatest Christmas Gift.

Matt 2:1-12

2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:

6 "’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

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