(This month marks the 30th anniversary of the modern classic, “A Christmas Story”, one of my all-time favorite holiday movies. In fact, the older I get, the more I like it. So I’m reposting this from 2006 and 2008. I’ve checked and updated the links, and there’s some new content, too. Not to mention blog snow, which my daughter the far more successful blogger told me about. Merry merry from Farm School!)
Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen (author of the new Eminent Hipsters) wrote a Slate article last year, “The Man Who Told ‘A Christmas Story’: What I learned from Jean Shepherd”. Twelve-year-old Fagen was introduced to Shep’s radio show by his “weird uncle Dave”, “a bit of a hipster” himself…
The 30th anniversary Blu-Ray edition
“A Christmas Story”: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic by Caseen Gaines
Tyler Schwartz’s A Christmas Story Treasury from Running Press, a short scrapbook with recipe cards for Mom’s Christmas turkey, a replica of the telegram notifying the Old Man about his “major award”, and so on.
The musical version of “A Christmas Story” returns to New York City, at Madison Square Garden from Dec. 11 to Dec. 29, featuring Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years”) as the narrator
The tourist organization Positively Cleveland is celebrating the 30th anniversary, including a special Christmas Story run tomorrow (runners are encouraged to carry a Leg Lamp or wear a Bunny Costume), and a contest to Light up the Holidays in CLE. You can win (what else?) a Leg Lamp. Unfortunately, we’ve all missed the 30th Anniversary Celebration & Convention on Nov. 29-30.
From the ridiculous to the sublime: Jean Shepherd’s original November 25, 1963 WOR radio evening broadcast, where he spent almost an hour talking about the impact of JFK‘s presidency, and his death, on American life. An MPR documentary produced by Matt Sepic with the assistance of Shepherd’s biographer, Eugene Bergmann.
Flicklives’ A Salute to Jean Shepherd, featuring A Christmas Story page
And, as always, TBS will be running its annual 24-hour “A Christmas Story” marathon from Christmas Eve to Christmas evening.
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From December 1, 2006:
Just in time for Christmas, the cockles of my heart warm to learn that one of my favorite holiday movies has come to life:
Switch on your leg lamp and warm up the Ovaltine. The Christmas Story House and Museum will be ready for visitors starting Saturday. Imagine being inside Ralphie Parker’s 1940s home on Christmas Day. Stand on the staircase where Ralphie modeled his hated bunny suit. See the table where Ralphie’s dad wanted to display his tacky leg lamp. Gaze out a back window at the shed where Black Bart hid out. …
This past weekend saw the grand opening of The Christmas Story House. The house, used primarily for exterior shots in the 1983 filming, was renovated to look just like Ralphie’s home in the movie by owner Brian Jones, a lifelong Christmas Story fan.
At the museum gift shop, you can buy a chocolate BB rifle or a replica leg lamp from Red Rider Leg Lamps, started by Jones in 2003. And, I hope, a copy of Jean Shepherd’s In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, on which the movie was based. Ho ho ho!
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Interestingly, I had a comment on the post last month  — while we were away — from the people at the tourist organization, Positively Cleveland, about their “What I Want for Christmas” essay contest, which had a December 3 deadline.
There were two contests, one for those ages 16 and under and one for those 17 older. Prizes for the junior set included, among other things, a $100 gift certificate to Pearl of the Orient, the official Chinese restaurant of A Christmas Story House and Museum; a four-pack of general admission tickets to A Christmas Story House and Museum; and a four-pack of general admission tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. No BB guns, however, because you’d shoot your eye out.
Prizes for the oldsters were pretty much the same, except a full-size leg lamp was substituted for the restaurant gift certificate.
Any fan of A Christmas Story has probably stumbled over the latest curiosities, two new fan flicks: Road Trip for Ralphie and Shooting Your Eye Out: The Untold Christmas Story. Makes you wonder what Jean Shepherd might make of all this humbug. Creeping meatballism, perhaps?