You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out: Why A Christmas Story is Still a Classic

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Entertainment

Time to gather around, kids. It’s time for that yearly bacchanalia of peace on Earth and good will toward men.

If you recognize that line…chances are you’re a fan of the ever popular film A Christmas Story, which plays for 24 hours straight beginning at 8pm on Christmas Eve. Not only is it my all-time favorite Christmas-themed movie, but as TBS and TNT do play it for 24 hours, it’s a clear favorite for many millennials and non-millennials alike.

And there it is…part of why the film is still a classic. It’s been loved among fans for the past few generations since its 1983 release, though the film is said to take place in the 1940s.

My dad and my now 42-year-old cousin introduced me to A Christmas Story back when I was in middle school. We turned on the 24-hour marathon, I listened to my mom talk about just how much she hated the film, I laughed as my dad explained to me just how much he was like Ralphie as a child…and with just one viewing of the infamous “Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine” scene, I was hooked.

In the years that have passed since I first discovered A Christmas Story, I’ve found other cult fans, including one of my best friends – who did not know I was a fan when we first met. We now spend part of Christmas Eve trading texts with quotes from the film. We’ve also quoted it in public (our latest reenactment taking place at the local mall) and even attended a “lighting” of a recreation of the infamous leg lamp.

So, here we are again…like many other forms of entertainment, A Christmas Story is still a classic because it unites us. It gives us something to laugh about.

But, why do we laugh about these scenes? Because the film is relatable to a wide age range of people.

It’s relatable to my dad because he grew up in an era that more closely resembles the era in which A Christmas Story takes place than today does. It’s relatable to my cousin and to my best friend – who are both a bit older than I am and grew up in the ’80s when the film was first released. And it’s relatable to me because when I was a kid, I daydreamed with the same fervor that Ralphie did.

Whether it’s for the tradition of watching the same film over and over again leading up to Christmas morning, or for bonding with other cult fans, or for the laughs, or it’s (gasp!) your first time, tune into 24 hours of A Christmas Story this year.

I promise, you won’t shoot your eye out.

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