Sequel to a Christmas classic released

‘A Christmas Story Christmas’ presents a long-awaited sequel


Fair use from HBO Max

Leo Justesen

It’s been about a month since the sequel to the very old movie “A Christmas Story” released, called “A Christmas Story Christmas,” and there is still a lot to talk about. For those who don’t know the original 1973 movie, it is about a kid named Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) who goes through a journey with his family and friends, dodging bullies and other obstacles to have the ideal Christmas. His prized Christmas present is a Red Ryder air rifle. In “A Christmas Story Christmas,” Ralphie is now a middle-aged man with a wife and two kids. Now the movie is in the perspective of a father trying to give his family the perfect Christmas. If you liked the first movie, I can guarantee you will likely enjoy this one.

There were a lot more callbacks to the first movie than I thought there would be in “A Christmas Story Christmas.” The only problem I have with this movie is that it wouldn’t make much sense without watching the original. Don’t get me wrong, both of them are very good in my eyes, but watching the first movie before the second is necessary to enjoy it fully.

Since the first movie took place in the mid-1940’s, the sequel actually takes place in 1973, when the original movie was released. Now Ralphie is an unsuccessful aspiring writer — his 1000-page novel has been rejected multiple times, but he persists in trying to find a publisher that would greenlight his novel. Near Christmas, when Ralphie gets word that his old man died, he brings his whole family back to his hometown to celebrate Christmas with his mother. Ralphie meets old friends from the original movie and tries to cheer up his family after the loss of his old man. Just like the first movie, Ralphie goes through many twists and turns but is now trying to fill the shoes of his old man during Christmas. The kids go through many of the same challenges Ralphie went through as a kid to have the perfect Christmas.

To truly appreciate the “Christmas Story” saga, you have to understand that the movie has a certain style to it, almost like an acquired taste — it often goes into the mind of, and is narrated by, Ralphie. For example, Ralphie will daydream about winning something or will have nightmares if there is some sort of roadblock during his Christmas journey, and that contributes to the story in of itself. The daydreams also get more interesting depending on who Ralphies daydreaming about. When the daydreams have people like Schwartz and Flick (his old childhood friends), it will be pretty wild and fun because they are reuniting. When the daydreams have family, there will be lots of nightmares because of the pressure put upon Ralphie. I like how his daydreams get really exaggerated and funny. I’m also impressed how they managed to keep the daydreams just as interesting as the first movie even though they had to do it for Ralphie as an adult.

“A Christmas Story Christmas” is a great sequel to a holiday classic. The movie still brings a fun Christmas spirit, this time from a parent’s perspective, and a unique, exciting take to a Christmas movie. It is truly a rollercoaster of emotions and — just like the first movie — has lots of twists and turns throughout. As long as you watched the original movie first, “A Christmas Story Christmas” is a great movie to watch with family or whoever you spend the holidays with.

“A Christmas Story Christmas:” ★★★★☆