Cards are done now, anyway: another big item off the to-do list. That was last night's project. Once I get all the presents wrapped and brave the grocery store for the food I need for Christmas dinner, I think that will be the rest of the big stuff. Hallelujah!
As a holiday movie to be watching, A Christmas Carol is a good one, a favorite, even. (Unlike It's A Wonderful Life, which I think may be the most depressing movie ever made....all but the last five minutes make me want to jump off a bridge myself. For real.)
But I still think that for sheer holiday entertainment, it's hard to beat this one:
Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!
Mrs. Parker: No, you'll shoot your eye out.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.
Mr. Parker: That son of a bitch would freeze up in the middle of summer on the equator!
Mother: Little pitchers!
Mr. Parker: Thanks... hold it!
[the furnace conks out]
[Furnace makes creaking noise]
Mr. Parker: Hold it! Shhh...
[Furnace makes loud banging noises]
Mr. Parker: Aha! Aha! It's a clinkerrrr! That blasted, stupid furnace! Dadgummit!
[Mr. Parker falls down the stairs]
Mr. Parker: Damn skates!
Mr. Parker: Oh for cripe's sake, open up that damper, will ya? Who the hell turned it all the way down? Hawk head! Aw, blasted poop flirt rattle crap camel flirt. You blonker frattle feet sturckle frat! Of a womp sack butt ratter bottom fodder...
Ralphie as Adult: In the heat of battle, my father wove a tapestry of obscenity, that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.
Mr. Parker: ...smick melly whop walker. Drop dumb fratten house stickle fifer!
Mother: All right. Now, are you ready to tell me where you heard that word?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But, I chickened out and said the first name that came to mind.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand...
Narrator: Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.
Mr. Parker: He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.
Mother: He does not!
Mr. Parker: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!
Miss Shields: Now I know that some of you put Flick up to this, but he has refused to say who. But those who did it know their blame, and I'm sure that the guilt you feel is far worse than any punishment you might receive. Now, don't you feel terrible? Don't you feel remorse for what you have done? Well, that's all I'm going to say about poor Flick.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Adults loved to say things like that but kids knew better. We knew darn well it was always better not to get caught.
[Mr. Parker reads a side of the box with the prize that he won]
Mr. Parker: Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.
Mrs. Parker: Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, dear.
Mr. Parker: Oh, yeah.
Mr. Parker: [unveiling his major award] Would you look at that? Would you look at THAT?
Mother: What is it?
Mr. Parker: It's a leg!
Mother: But what is it?
Mr. Parker: Well, it's... A leg, you know, like a statue.
Mr. Parker: Yeah, statue.
Ralphie: Yeah, statue.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] My mother was trying to insinuate herself between us and the statue.
Mr. Parker: Holy smokes. Do... Do you know what this is? This is... A lamp!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was indeed a lamp.
Mr. Parker: Isn't that great? What a great lamp.
Mother: I don't know...
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The old man's eyes boggled...
Mr. Parker: Oh WOW!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] ... Overcome by art.
Mr. Parker: Get in the car. Get in the car.
[Mother runs back inside]
Mr. Parker: If we don't hurry, we're gonna miss all the good trees!
Mr. Parker: [to the kids] Go on, go on.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, as Mother switches off the leg lamp] My mother was about to make another brilliant maneuver in the legendary battle of the lamp. The epic struggle which follows lives in the folklore of Cleveland Street to this very day.
Mother: Don't want to waste electricity.
Mr. Parker: [mockingly] "Don't want to waste electricity."
Mr. Parker: [after Mother "accidentally" breaks the Old Man's leg lamp] Don't you touch that! You were always jealous of this lamp.
Mother: Jealous of a plastic...
Mr. Parker: Jealous! Jealous because I WON.
Mother: That's ridiculous. Jealous. Jealous of WHAT? That is... the ugliest lamp I have ever seen in my entire LIFE!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now it was out.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, after Mother breaks the Old Man's Major Award, and he is unsuccessful at repairing it] With as much dignity as he could muster, the Old Man gathered up the sad remains of his shattered major award. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of "Taps" being played, gently.
And then, of course, there are the Bumpus hounds:
On Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...gift wrapping time.