Twelve Days of Christmas Movie Scenes: A Christmas Story

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Watching A Christmas Story this time of year is a staple in households across the land. Unless you’re a Jew, a Commie or living in an electricity free commune run by an oppressive cult leader. I’ll fully admit, I’ve seen the damn thing so many times it’s lost a bit of its luster. But that in no way denigrates its status as one of the truest (and funniest) representations of Christmas ever put to cinema. Taking nothing away from Ralphie and the rest of the youngins, this movie strikes comedy gold due to Ralphie’s parents, expertly played by Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin.

Films have a frustrating tendency to paint the portrait of a married couple with two kids in trite or overwrought strokes, ignoring the more nuanced moments that define actual long-term relationships. Rather than wallow in darkness, writer Jean Shepherd and director Bob Clark shed a light on the one thing that every family needs to stay afloat: laughter. And it’s up to the parents to ensure that light never burns out. Especially when mom breaks the old man’s “major award.”