A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I know a lot of people think that the story is overly dramatic, but I don’t. I remember when I was that age, and I was that overly dramatic.
For Ralphie, it was a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock. It was a Stingray bike for me, blue and white with multi-color streamers hanging from the handle bars and a white basket in front that was decorated with flowers.
That was what I wanted more than anything. I was little more subtle then Ralphie was at dropping hints. I didn’t have to worry about shooting my eye out, or anyone else’s eye for that matter.
No. It was money, as it is for many families. In my case, there were four of us, and my parents didn’t have enough money to buy bikes for all of us. It would have been unfair to buy a bike for one child and ignore the other three’s desires.
It didn’t matter, though. I still wanted that Stingray. So, every Christmas for as long as I can remember, I would wake up in the morning and rush downstairs to the tree, hoping against hope there would be a blue and white Stingray under it, but there never was. Then one morning–I was about Ralphie’s age, maybe a little older–I woke up and rushed down stairs, and there wasn’t one bike or two bikes, but three bikes.
They weren’t new, but they were the most beautiful bikes I’d ever seen. Now, being the eldest, I expected one of them to belong to me. So, imagine my deep disappointment when I read my siblings names on them. I looked around the room thinking I must have missed something, but I didn’t. There was no bike for me.
My parents got up with my brother and two sisters and came downstairs too. They never said anything about me not getting a bike as my siblings squeaked and yelled in surprise at getting theirs.
I tried to be happy for them, but there was a lump in my throat so huge I couldn’t swallow. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful as I did get some really nice gifts, but I wanted to cry.
Just like every other Christmas, we cleaned up the mess from all of the presents, ate breakfast, and then went over to grandma and grandpa’s for dinner. Grandma made everything from scratch, and she was a great cook. There was ham with pineapple and cloves, mashed potatoes and gravy, fruit salad, rolls, butter, and French-style beans and corn. The house always smelled wonderful.
Grandma greeted us with hugs and kisses, and we ran into the living room where her tree was gaily decorated and filled with presents. We all tried to sit patiently while grandma handed out the presents. Grandpa sat in his favorite recliner, like a king upon his throne surveying his subjects. I loved him, but he was definitely the patriarch of the clan and no one dared cross him.
He wasn’t a big man, but he had a big aura.
Like Ralphie narrated in A Christmas Story, we opened our presents with barely concealed avarice. It was very nice, and, again, I tried to be happy with the presents I received because they were really nice gifts. I put away my sadness after opening the presents, and after cleaning up the mess I went into the kitchen to help grandma and mom cook dinner.
Grandma asked me to go out to the garage and get the potatoes, so I walked out the back door and down the path towards the garage. Grandma had a great garden, and it was a beautiful walk out to the garage.
I finally got to the garage, opened the door, and walked inside to grab the bag of potatoes and stopped in total amazement. In the middle of the room, there was a blue and white Stingray bike with my name on it. It was the most gorgeous bike in the world.
My grandparents had followed me out to the garage because they wanted to see my expression. I was weeping with joy, and I told them thank you over and over. Then I ran to hug them.
My grandparents had asked my parents what I wanted for Christmas, and they wanted to buy me the bike because I was the first born grandchild, the eldest.
Just as Ralphie got his BB gun when he least expected it, I got my bike.
A Christmas Storyis about family and how one little boy, in the process of getting his BB gun, discovered his family. That’s what Christmas is about in the end: family.
May all your dreams and wishes come true this holiday season for you and yours.