"Ho, ho, but no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved."

I tried that once. Only I didn't have the guts to stick my tongue to a flagpole, so instead I tried repeatedly to stick my tongue to the metal plate inside my parents' freezer. I was a kid who had just watched A Christmas Story more than five times over the Christmas holiday, and I wanted to see if my tongue would stick. No one else was around to egg me on -- and though I grew up with kids like Flick and Schwartz, I was determined to go at this one alone. So my tongue ... yeah, it didn't stick. Well maybe for a second or two, but that was it. If it was any other time of year, I probably wouldn't have tried it. But, for a kid, Christmas is heaven. Knowing the holiday is approaching brings a jolt of life to the kid spirit; they're invincible, nothing can stop them. Trying to decide what you want for Christmas, as a kid, is also the most important decision you'll make all year. No job, no mortgage or rent to pay, no wife or girlfriend or family to buy presents for. Nope. Your only responsibility is to anticipate great things to come. And no other movie captures that mindset, that energy, that love for life better than Bob Clark's A Christmas Story.

Starting in just a couple hours from now, TBS will air this movie for 24 hours straight; a yearly tradition for the television station. In my house, these are the rules: We must leave the TV on when we fall asleep, and the set must be tuned into A Christmas Story. I attempt to watch the first half before I fall asleep, and then I time it to wake up and watch the second half before the wife, dog and I hop out of bed and open presents. I do this (and the wife just goes along because I'm nuts and she doesn't have the time nor patience to argue my insanity) because after all the shopping, the hustling, the re-arranging and the spending of money I'd rather save, this film helps raise my spirits, helps me prepare for the onslaught of Christmas dinners to follow and it brings me back to that time as a kid when the cold, the lights and the tree meant we were in store for something special. To a kid, that something special is a gift; a reward for being young and full of glee. To an adult, that something special is togetherness; a bonding moment with the ones you love.

categories Features, Cinematical