A Christmas Story – Revisited

One year ago, when my blog was just starting out, I posted an article on my Top Ten Christmas Movies. And while I’d mentioned at the time that my top three picks were pretty much interchangeable, I’m officially changing my stance to a ‘3-way tie for first’.

This year, A Christmas Story has taken front and centre in our household.

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Our porch.  Careful, fragile.

 

..
From the decorations on our porch, to my sudden desire to explore a little movie trivia, I’ve been consumed by all things leg lamps and Red Ryder BB guns.  I’ve always known that the bulk of A Christmas Story was filmed in Toronto Canada, and a key piece, shot in a smaller, less known Canadian city that just happens to be close to where I live.  Remember that memorable scene in the school yard?

What I didn’t realize was how close I reside from the exact location where that marvelous frozen moment was filmed, 33 years ago.  Armed with my Nikon and the movie soundtrack playing on my car stereo, I set off for the 19 minute drive to Victoria School, in St. Catharines, Ontario.

I wasn’t disappointed.

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No longer a school, the building now serves as a shelter.  But the old charm is still there.

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Despite modern townhouses in the background and 2016 vehicles interfering with my camera angles, I was transported to days gone by, if only for a moment.

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While the Old Man’s house and street scenes were filmed in Cleveland Ohio, the neighbourhood directly adjacent to the old school looks remarkably appropriate, even in 2016.

 

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And so ended my brief pilgrimage, my impromptu adventure, my ode to Christmas past.

Ah, memories.

Up next on the holiday watch list,

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

But you already knew that.

Merry Christmas!

24 thoughts on “A Christmas Story – Revisited

  1. 🙂 I have told myself I must watch this movie this year! Time is running out – I don’t know why I have never seen it. I feel like the only Canadian out in the cold!

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  2. I am SO envious of you for having the lamp & a life size one at that! Fragile! I do enjoy A Christmas Story. One of my all time favs, Darren McGavin is in it, so of course it’s on the radar. I think this movie has undying appeal because it reminds us that a child who wants a Red Ryder BB gun lives in all of us. Happy Holidays, Mike!

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    • Darren is fantastic, originally Jack Nicholson wanted the role, but due to the low budget, they couldn’t afford him. The mom is also fantastic in this. At the end, when they go for their Chinese food dinner, they didn’t tell her about the Christmas songs that the waiters sang, nor the chopping of the goose’s head. Watch her genuine reaction, it’s priceless. Cheers Susan, best of the season to you!

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  3. In my Christmas village, I have a reproduction of this school, produced by Department 56 several years ago. It doesn’t look exactly like this, but close enough, and the other pieces I have from the “Christmas Story” line are pretty on the mark. (There’s even a tiny leg lamp, although that piece usually only lasts three seconds before the cat absconds with it and we find it in his water dish.) Of course, these bits of porcelain don’t compare with you actually touching hallowed ground, but I just wanted to say that I’m in your camp with this being one of the best Christmas movies… 😉

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    • Thanks Brian! I love the idea of having that as a part of a Christmas village. We have one I set up each year also, but the only tribute to film classics is my light-up Cousin Eddie RV I got a as a gift a couple of years back. I’ll have to start checking the web for A Christmas Story replicas. Hope you have a great Christmas!

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  4. I first discovered this story in a magazine (early Redbook, perhaps?) – and laughed aloud MANY times. I clipped it out and saved it, I was so delighted. I wasn’t surprised when it was expanded into a movie – but over the years I have managed to “file” it somewhere in the ether. Thanks for the memories, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

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  5. I will see if I can find this movie and watch it. I have never seen it. Christmas Vacation is an old favorite and gets watched many times before the holiday ends. My most favorite song from the movie is Spirit of Christmas by Ray Charles. That always gets me misty eyed. Hope your 2017 will be an inspirational year.

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    • Yes, I remember the first time I watched that scene, sitting alone in the theatre back when the film was released, it was quite touching. We just watched Christmas Vacation yesterday, after the dinner and festivities died down. Wonderful. A Christmas Story is a delight, the genuine performances by the main players are classic. Enjoy the rest of the season!

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    • I highly recommend it. There are unique qualities to this one, from the genuine acting of the main players (both parents and kids), to the outdoor scenes with real snow (they were lucky enough to have been able to film after an actual ice storm for a few scenes, the scenery is exquisite), to the general feel of the movie. For those of us who are older, the imagery stirs up great memories.

      Put it on your list for next year. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Likewise and you’re welcome! I just posted about my favorite Christmas movies, and that one is on there. There hasn’t been a year that I haven’t watched it, either from my own DVD (don’t judge…I can’t let the DVDs go lol), or on the 24hour loop one of those cable channels does on Christmas day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wonderful! And I never judge, mostly because I still have my original VHS tapes, never mind the DVD’s and Blu-rays. Glad to hear A Christmas Story is one of your favorites, we watched it on the 23rd this year, marvelous as always. Hard to believe they’re all packed away until next December. Thanks so much for commenting! Cheers!

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