In honor of the 30th anniversary of "A Christmas Story," I have something radical planned.
That will be watching it from beginning to end. For the first time ever.
Mind you, I've seen every scene of this hilarious Christmas classic, just never in the right order. That's what happens every year even though the film is shown over and over for 24 hours: I watch a bit here and a bit there.
When "A Christmas Story" was released in 1983, it wasn't on my radar. At all. Because, truth be told, while Christmas is my favorite time of year, Christmas movies haven't really been something that draw me in.
"It's A Wonderful Life" is the only full-length Christmas movie I've watched again and again.
Animated specials like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" are more to my liking.
But what really thrilled me in the days of my youth were the musical specials that were on during each holiday season. Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Bob Hope always had Christmas specials which brought music of the season to my welcoming ears.
The younger generations may have watched Der Bingle and David Bowie's duet of "A Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace on Earth" on YouTube, but I remember when that was shown as part of Crosby's final Christmas show in 1977. The program actually aired after Crosby had died of a heart attack two months after filming the duet with Bowie.
In retrospect, I realize these specials were corny, but they were wonderful all the same.
My No. 1 choice from those musical Christmas programs through the years is "John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together." Lively and funny and sweet, this program touched my heart when it first aired in 1979, especially "The Peace Carol," which I hadn't heard before.
"John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together" was a special that was on each Christmastime for a few years and I always tried to watch.
While I have the soundtrack on CD, a VHS tape I made featuring that program and other Christmas specials was lost to me years ago. It would be a joy to watch "John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together" again and perhaps I will track it down on DVD this holiday season.
But back to "A Christmas Story." It's fun to ask people to name their favorite scene in 9-year-old Ralphie's quest for a Red Ryder BB gun. Recently, I asked some friends and each had a different reply.
One liked when Ralphie goes crazy against the neighborhood bully, Scut Farkas, fists and obscenities flying.
Another named the "triple-dog dare you" that leads to Flick's stuck tongue.
The Bumpuses' dogs effect on the Parker family's Christmas dinner is another's favorite, while another mentions "the leg lamp arrival" as a moment of pure joy.
But for me, it's Ralphie's visit to Santa at the department store that's favorite. Something about that Santa and that elf make me laugh out loud each time I watch that scene.
This, by golly, will be the year "A Christmas Story" is viewed from start to finish, in the right order.
After 30 years, it's about time.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.