A Christmas Story Christmas (2022) Movie Script

When you're a kid, all you want
is the perfect Christmas gift.
When you're a parent, all you want
is for Christmas to be perfect.
But sometimes, if we're lucky,
the Yuletide stars
shine full upon us
in a rare moment of truth.
And how we react in these moments
can forever seal our fate.
Ah, there it is.
Our humble abode
on the south side of the city.
Just like I remember,
in all of its yellow,
orange and avocado-green glory.
Oh, life moves fast.
One day you're playing "kick the can"
with kids named Flick and Schwartz.
And the next thing you know, you're
paying taxes and pulling out grey hairs.
But no matter. My sights were
set on a higher purpose.
And I was gonna
get there with Sandy
by my side.
Even though times were lean,
we had everything we needed.
At least that's what we told
our kids, Mark and Julie.
Okay, but what if there's
a fire in the fireplace?
Santa is fireproof.
What if the fireplace
is too small?
He sneaks in a window.
Good morning.
- Good morning, Mom.
- Morning.
What if the window is stuck?
He has WD-40.
- What if the window is too small?
- He sucks in his gut.
- Hey. Get your breakfast.
- Okay.
Yes, Mom.
While the kids counted the
days left 'til Christmas,
I was racing against the clock.
We had socked away just enough
for one year, so I could write
the next great American novel.
Everyone gets their chance,
and when yours comes along,
you had better grab it.
Nothing could stop me now.
Dad! We're out of milk.
- What?
- My fault, my fault. I forgot to get it.
But have you ever had
the delicacy of cereal with...
orange juice?
Nobody? You are in for a treat.
Nice bowl full of cocoa buds
poured with some
delicious OJ. Hm.
And then...
Ugh. That's disgusting.
- Mm.
- Ew.
Mm. You can't beat that.
There you go, sweetie.
Well, you gonna try it?
- Mom, you go first.
- No.
Dad, when can we
take out the stockings?
Let's wait for Grandpa.
He loves that stuff.
Yeah, you guys
can do it together.
The angel! She's so beautiful.
It's almost Christmas and we
don't have a tree for our angel.
I know, honey.
We're gonna get a tree
as soon as Grandma and Grandpa
get here. Two more days.
I feel like I've
been waiting forever.
Every year, my parents made
the long drive to Chicago
so we could all celebrate
with a big city Christmas.
But until then, I could
stay focused on my dream.
- How do I look?
- Like a writer.
- Hey, kids.
- Good luck.
- Good luck.
- Good luck.
Santa Claus is comin'
To town
Santa Claus is comin'
To town
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin'
To town
Santa Claus is comin'
To town
Santa Claus is comin'...
This was the deal.
I had to be published
by the end of this year,
or I'd pack up my dream
and return to the rat race.
So, I'd sent my manuscript
to 16 lucky publishers,
and 14 of them
enthusiastically said, "No."
With the year almost over,
I desperately needed a win.
Mr. Parker...
we generally handle this sort of
meeting with a written correspondence,
but your insistence
to meet in person...
Oh. Uh, I brought you
a little something.
Greasing the wheels
certainly couldn't hurt.
Marshall Field's.
The good stuff.
Is this...
a bribe?
I don't know.
You tell me.
Your manuscript,
Jupiter's Oblivion...
Uh, Neptune.
It's Neptune's Oblivion.
Though an interesting title
and thoroughly written,
we're not accepting manuscripts
over 2,000 pages.
Oh. Well, I could
cut it down a bit.
You could cut it in half and
there'd still be too many words.
Ah, Well, I know
it doesn't feel like it ends,
but that's because it all pays off in
the sequel, which I'm writing right now.
Oh, Lord, not more.
This isn't a subject
we're interested in...
- at all.
- No.
This has been
my entire life this past year.
Good day, Mr. Parker.
And have a Merry Christmas.
Merry my foot.
This pencil pusher had no
appreciation for my vision.
Oh, one day he'd see.
They'd all see.
We're back, just in time
for the main event!
And the winner
of the Pulitzer Prize
for literary achievement
in science fiction writing
over 2,000 pages is...
Mr. Ralph Wesley Parker
for Neptune's Oblivion!
What an upset!
We're seeing history, folks!
This is Ralph's
first nomination and first win.
- That's my husband.
- With 100% of the vote.
Even the other contestants
voted for him.
Anyone who doubted him must
be kicking themselves tonight.
- And there's one of them now!
- Forgive me, Mr. Parker. I was wrong.
Dead wrong! Please.
What a moron!
Tonight, we crown
the new voice of a generation.
Eat your heart out, Hemingway.
Parker! Parker!
Parker! Parker! Parker!
Mr. Parker.
I said good day.
Oh, right. Good day.
Well, there's still
one publisher left.
Hey, you know,
I heard that Mark Twain
got rejected 34 times
before he got published.
- That's brutal.
- Yeah.
- I just mean you're in good company.
- Thanks.
- But he actually said that you could cut it in half?
- That's crazy, right?
I mean, it is...
a little wordy.
It's an epic saga.
Right, honey. Are you sure you
should be writing a sequel? I mean...
The first thing they're gonna ask
when it sells is, "What's next?"
Okay. No, I mean,
you're the expert.
- Well, what do you suggest?
- Well, okay.
Honey, you write so well.
And you have
such a strong voice.
So maybe you could
write something that's...
like, more relatable.
You know, Denise
at the Book Barn,
she says true crime
is the next big thing.
That's it.
A book about strangling Denise
from Book Barn.
Can I have another
piece of pizza?
Here you go. Take mine.
Well, what do you guys
want for Christmas?
An Easy-Bake Oven,
Hungry Hungry Hippos
and a stuffed kitty cat.
Got it.
What about you?
A Flexible Flyer F-23
Yankee Clipper.
And what is that?
- A sled.
- Oh, okay. I'm sorry.
What do you want, Dad?
A time machine
to restart the year.
What I need is a new radiator
for the Plymouth.
Oh. I got it. I got it.
- Could be my manager with some good news.
- Okay.
Mr. Ralph Parker speaking.
- Hi, Mom.
- Nope. It's Grandma.
What's wrong?
Wait. Wait a minute.
Where are you now?
Nothing can prepare
us for one of life's
most painful
and inescapable events.
The passing of a parent.
Okay, Ma.
As the sadness of losing
my old man took grip,
two undeniable truths
washed over us that night.
Grandma needed us in Hohman,
and this Christmas would be
nothing like we anticipated.
We're getting close.
Yeah. You can taste it.
Oh, come on. It's not that bad.
You said the birds fly
backwards so they don't choke.
And the sludge pool
swallowed children whole.
Does Santa go to Hohman?
Yeah, of course.
Why wouldn't he?
Because Dad said winter in Hohman is
so bleak, it crushes the human spirit.
Kids ignore every
important thing you say,
then recall
with painful accuracy
every incriminating word you've
uttered in the last five years.
Honey, it's the opposite.
Santa loves Hohman.
In fact, if you play
your cards right,
you'll get to meet him
at Higbee's.
But is it the real Santa Claus?
Oh, it's him. Trust me.
I'll see for myself.
Oh. I'm sorry. It's cold.
Ah! There is no nobler a
sacrifice for the common egg
than the ingenious
automotive repair known as...
"The Midwest Souffle."
One serving temporarily seals
any bum radiator,
ensuring safe passage
to the next pit stop.
Our car ate more eggs
than Cool Hand Luke.
Come on! Stupid trunk!
Ah, there it was.
Our old house
on Cleveland Street.
It looked like it had
been frozen in time.
You're here!
Oh, my goodness!
- Grandma!
- Grandma!
- Oh, my goodness!
- I could eat you up.
I missed you, Grandma!
I love you guys.
Oh, Sandy.
I am so sorry.
Hello, Mom.
I am so sorry, Mom.
He was the best.
- I'm so glad that you all are here.
- Of course.
And I don't want you to worry
about anything.
I'm gonna take care
of all the arrangements,
- the service...
- No, no, no.
Listen to me, Ralphie.
All that can wait.
Your father was so excited
about Christmas.
I mean, if he saw
us moping around,
he'd just throw a fit.
I've given this
a lot of thought.
This can't be the thing that
we think of every Christmas.
We've gotta make it
a good memory, so...
promise me...
promise me...
we're gonna make
this a wonderful Christmas.
One that we'll never forget.
In the history of tall orders,
this one took the cake!
There was no way. Impossible!
Give up now, stupid!
I promise.
Oh, what had I done?
The old man was the reason
for the greatest Christmases
any of us ever knew.
And now it was all up to me?
Get a grip, man!
Millions of folks pull it off every
year because everyone knows the recipe.
Oh, yeah!
I had to pull this off.
For the memory of my old man,
and for every Christmas to come.
Fragile. It must be Italian.
Not a finger!
It suddenly struck me
that my old man's voice
would never echo
through these walls again.
A fuse is out!
It was my old home.
With its light, its colors...
its smells.
But it was forever changed.
In the Southwest, it's said
they bring chili con carne.
Atlantic states, stew.
But here in Hohman,
it's the fabled casserole
that appears in times of need.
I swear, every neighbor
dropped off a casserole.
It's gonna take us a year
to finish all this.
Mm. Well, this one looks like
tuna and olive and... beans?
Hm. Uh,
I think that's a blueberry.
Uh, I think, let's see.
This one is, uh, cream, beans,
and pickled carrots and...
And tastes of cinnamon. Mm.
So inventive.
No matter
the tongue-curling flavors
or indistinguishable
no one dared waste food
in my mother's house.
I'm so touched that everyone has
gone to all this trouble for us.
Will we have turkey
on Christmas?
Oh, no. We have
to finish all this first.
Oh, hot, hot, hot.
- Yum.
- Oh, my.
- Ketchup and what?
- Mm.
What do you think that is?
It's mayonnaise.
Cooked mayonnaise.
It's colder here
than in Chicago.
It's looking pretty good.
I don't know. His arms
aren't even the same size.
He doesn't know that.
Oh, this would surely be a highlight
of Mark and Julie's Christmas.
A close encounter
with Delbert Bumpus.
The smartest member of the
hillbilly family next door.
Hey yourself.
We're building a snowman.
His name is Sparklypoof.
We did not agree on that.
Bad idea.
Snowmen don't
last long 'round here.
By God!
The neighborhood bullies reincarnate.
What was once
mere beatings and shakedowns
had evolved into surprise
attacks of mechanized terror.
They murdered Sparklypoof!
Grab it. Grab it! Yeah!
I got your scarf!
That's mine!
Hey, you get back here!
Hey, bring that back!
Well, this town is
full of surprises, isn't it?
How fun.
- Uh, come on. Let's go inside. - This
was a new wrinkle in the Christmas plans.
Mark and Julie just landed at the
bottom of the local food chain.
O come, all ye faithful
Hey, guys. I just hung up
with my manager,
and I asked him to call here
with any news.
So please pick up the phone,
day or night, okay?
Ralphie, how is it going
with your novel?
Oh, if mothers knew every rocky detail
of our lives, they'd never sleep.
Best to keep her off the scent.
Oh, I got some
real nice irons in the fire.
Oh. Well, you know,
that's really good to know.
Out of the frying pan...
That way, we can really focus on
getting into the Christmas spirit.
And into the fire.
It's gonna be great.
Well, it's only five days away.
Well, Ralph's got this.
- Yeah?
- Right?
Oh, you bet. Uh...
We're gonna do it all.
Aw... That would make
your father so happy, Ralphie.
I can't wait to see
what you're gonna do with it.
Oh, that makes two of us.
I gotta figure this out.
You know,
I think I'm gonna take a walk.
Um, just get some fresh air,
maybe clear my head a little bit.
I'll be back.
Come on, get out of here!
Not the Bumpus hounds, too.
They tormented my old man
his whole life.
Now even they expected me
to fill his shoes.
Uh, how was I supposed
to replace the greatest
Christmas ringmaster of all time?
Especially when he was the one
everyone was missing.
Well, sometimes, at life's
most desperate moments,
the universe offers us a sign.
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Perhaps some insight from the
Hohman brain trust could help.
My old pal Flick had inherited
the bar from his old man.
Before that, he was best known
as the genius
who once stuck his tongue
to a frozen flag pole.
You're up by one.
Down by one.
You're up, Schwartz.
Last shot.
Any good luck Schwartz ever had
ran out in the fourth grade.
These days, he was either
running up his tab at Flick's,
or at home with his mom.
For all the donuts, suckers.
Could it be? Schwartz?
In a moment of triumph?
Not a chance.
He did it again!
to the Slag Heaps!
Come on, drink up,
everybody. Drink it up.
Here we go.
Looks like I backed
the wrong team.
- Well, if it wasn't such a junk table.
- Junk? I just had it waxed.
Some things never change.
Well, I double dog dare you!
Especially Flick...
Stick my tongue
to that stupid pole?
and Schwartz.
That's 'cause
you know it'll stick.
Yeah, you've got an...
- Ralphie!
- Hey!
Am I glad to see you guys.
Come, have a drink!
The cosmopolitan man returns.
Yeah, Mr. Big Shot, gracing us
small town folk with his presence.
Yeah. Come on, I could
never forget about you guys.
Believe me, I tried.
Truth was, years ago,
I had promised myself
that I wouldn't return to Hohman
until I was a genuine success.
And now, I didn't have the heart to
tell them the embarrassing truth.
Hey, Flick! Come on,
get us all a round, right?
- Put it on my tab. Come on.
- Yeah.
What? I'll pay my tab.
Now, here's you two.
Here's mine.
Ralph, to your old man.
Hell of a guy.
Sorry, Ralphie.
He was the best.
- To the old man.
- To the old man.
Oh, no.
The death knell for stool rats
'round the world.
Flick's Tavern.
No one knows
for whom the bell tolls.
Yes. Is Larry here?
Is Larry Novak here?
Nope. Sorry, Mrs. Novak.
Larry's not here.
Yes, you have
a Merry Christmas as well.
You ever wonder what happened
to your high school quarterback?
Ours turned into
good old Larry Novak.
So what do you guys do around
here for Christmas these days?
It's the same here
as it's always been.
Yeah, just the usual.
No, the usual's
not gonna cut it.
I need something more.
It's all on me this year.
Well, in that case,
I suggest you start drinking
and don't stop till New Year's.
No, this is serious.
What do you want from me?
I come here to avoid my family.
All right. Got an idea.
Here, you take that.
- We'll come up with some idea.
- All right.
So, let's make a list. It's okay.
You're gonna be fine. We got this. Okay.
Ooh! But first,
line 'em up again.
- To lubricate our brains, right? Come on.
- It's a good idea.
- Christmas is...
- I have a terrarium.
It's a fish tank
for snakes and lizards.
It's very stimulating.
- Ah.
- Cool. That's a great start. I love terrariums.
Hey. My sister knows
a guy who owns a Cessna.
- My cousin Craig, he's got a buffalo.
- Yeah.
Oh, that'd be fantastic.
- It's huge.
- No bad ideas, guys. Keep 'em coming.
I need this stuff.
- We got you covered. We got you.
- It's the kind of magic I need.
- Come on, to Christmas.
- We got you. Christmas!
It's almost 10:00.
Are you awake?
- Uh-uh.
- Mm.
So, is this the list?
You know, the one you woke
me up about at 3:00 am?
That's my Christmas plan.
Okay. All right.
Well, you know,
some of these are good.
Yeah, sledding. That's great.
Maybe you and Mark
could do that.
- You know, father-son outing.
- Okay. Great.
But some of these are...
wax throwing?
Axe. Axe throwing.
- With the tomahawks and stuff.
- Okay. Even better.
Uh, "Make them catch and
kill their own turkey." Ooh.
Well, maybe we could combine
that with the axe throwing.
Could be fun
for the kids, I think.
Right here,
"Volunteer at a soup kitchen."
See, that one's crossed off.
Yeah, it could be too much.
Polar bear plunge.
- Terrarium.
- Yeah.
- Chips and salsa.
- Larry has one.
Overthrow Castro. I'm in.
Ambitious. But we can do it.
Three exclamation points.
So, do we move there?
No, no, no.
We're gonna bring it here.
It's buffalo?
Like an animal?
Yeah, some of these
need to bake, but...
You know, honey, I think you're
maybe overcomplicating this.
Why don't we just
keep it simple?
Like, we could go ice skating.
You know I would love that.
Oh, I know.
And, you know, maybe we just do
the usual Christmas stuff.
- Really?
- Yeah.
Like, we could start with just
getting the house decorated. Hm?
- Hm? Okay?
- Hm. Okay.
It's a little boring.
Okay. So...
Ooh. No, let's start
with the shower.
Ralphie, be careful!
There's spiders
as big as cats up there!
Attics are museums
of indifference.
Littered with junk
you don't wanna look at,
but don't have
the courage to throw away.
This place is a mess.
How am I supposed to find
the Christmas stuff up here?
In the cardboard boxes!
Which one?
There's hundreds of them.
Figure it out.
We're busy down here!
He looks like
a deranged Easter bunny.
And still traumatizing.
My first typewriter.
Oh, the stories we could tell.
The motherlode
of Christmas past.
This was gonna be easy.
What the hell?
Sandy, honey,
I'm just trying to be helpful.
That does not go there.
I... Okay. It may be
more helpful
- if you start working...
- I'm way ahead of you.
What is this? Ow!
Damn it! It cut me.
No, don't. Your mouth is just
full of diseases. Come on.
- Let's get some Bactine on that finger.
- Mom, it's fine.
My mother's cure-all
for any breach of the skin,
from a splinter
to a decapitation...
was a healthy swab of Bactine.
Your father hated that tree.
So do I.
Where did it come from?
I bought it a few years ago,
thinking it'd make things easier,
but your father
banished it to the attic.
He was right.
We're getting a real tree.
None of that fake junk.
- Well, you're the boss.
- Hm.
What is it?
Well, I know that you've
got a lot on your shoulders,
but I need you to do
something for me.
Yeah, Mom. Of course. Anything.
I want you to write your father's
obituary for the newspaper.
You are the writer
in the family.
Oh, tell that to
the publishing industry.
Yes. I'll just have to think
of what to say.
Oh, we Three Kings
Of Orient are
- They're coming.
- Who's coming?
Get down. Sandy, get down!
There are two acknowledged
schools of thought
on the holiday tradition
of caroling.
The first...
Believes it is a gift
to the world.
- The second school...
- Get the lights.
To which our family
devoutly subscribed,
believes carolers to be
a scourge set upon the earth
-to pillage your time and
ravage your patience. - Oh. Ah!
What are you doing?
They're just carolers.
They're just like ticks.
Once they get to your door,
you can't get rid of 'em. Hide.
Forever, ceasing never
Over us all
You're kidding, right?
No. No.
A couple of days ago,
I let my guard down
and they ambushed me.
They sang three whole songs
before I could break free.
Star with royal
Beauty bright
- Oh! They're here.
- But they're so cute.
Look at their costumes.
Don't encourage them.
You know, I grew up caroling.
How could you?
I didn't know.
But we can't just leave them
out there like this.
Oh, yes, we can!
The jig is up. I'll draw them off.
Now, go.
Mom, no!
Save yourselves! Go!
- Mom!
- Save the children!
- This is so crazy!
- Come on, out!
There's one over here!
We three kings Of orient are
bearing gifts We traverse afar
Field and fountain
Moor and mountain
Dad! There's something wrong
with this axe.
Come on, come on.
We should have got the chainsaw.
We're going to get
a Christmas tree, now!
Come on, come on.
To reign, O...
They're getting away!
I'm sorry. It was lovely!
Merry Christmas, you... you...
- turds!
- Terrence!
- What do you think, huh?
- It's okay.
- As long as you're...
- Look at that one.
- Christmas trees.
- Pretty good.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- Hello.
- Hello.
- I like that tree.
- I like that one.
Hello. Can I help you, sir?
Uh, just looking for a tree.
Uh, tall, short, skinny, fat?
I'll know when I see it.
- Well, just let me know if I...
- If I see it.
Pretty slim pickings here, huh?
What do you mean, Dad?
There's plenty of trees.
No, Mark.
- Yeah, they're all so beautiful.
- -Come here.
Come here, come here.
- Now listen.
- What?
Now, one of the many things
my old man taught me
was you have to bargain with these
people or they'll rob you blind.
- Mm-hm.
- You see, it's a battle of wits. Right?
Can't let 'em know
what you're thinking.
But you gotta get in their head.
Now, we open with a low bid.
Real insult,
right across their bow.
And if you're willing to walk
away, they'll come around.
They always do.
- You got it?
- Hm.
- Okay. Follow my lead.
- Yeah.
Let's go!
- Okay.
- Let's go.
Find anything you like?
I mean, I suppose
I could, maybe...
with this meager
inventory you have,
I could give you three...
four bucks tops...
for that one.
But, Ralph, isn't that...
Not now, woman! I'm about to judo
flip this bozo into the gutter!
Thank you so much.
I'll go get the twine.
Yeah, you bet you will.
Look at that, huh?
Hey, Chuck,
I got rid of the monster tree!
Ralph, are you sure
it's gonna fit in the house?
Oh, you bet.
My family was enthralled.
Awed by the spectacle
I raised before them.
Isn't it great?
We probably should've trimmed the
tree before we brought it inside.
No, that's just a saying.
Nobody trims trees.
Besides, it's perfect.
Yeah. Kinda looks like
it's going through puberty.
No wonder they gave it
to us for four bucks.
No, it's a wonder how I actually
negotiated the deal of a lifetime.
Let's get to work. Come on!
- Okay!
- Come on! Let's go!
Decoration time!
A beautiful little angel.
Radio. Okay.
Um, what about this one?
Nothing important?
- No.
- All right.
Three, two, one...
I don't think we should
have so much red.
I like that. Ooh.
- Cheers!
- Cheers!
Cheers. You, too, yeah.
Now, one of the best reasons
to have children
is to make them do the things
you don't wanna do as an adult.
This a good place?
- Higher than that.
- Go, go, go.
- Here?
- Your hand.
- Yeah. Now up.
- Now in.
- Here?
- Both.
In and up.
- Go in and up.
- Why didn't you just point there?
- Looks good.
- Yeah.
- Keep it up, guys.
- How come you're not helping?
- We're having fun watching you.
- Yeah.
When it's just us, it kind
of feels like child labor.
Oh, no, honey, it's not labor
if we don't pay you.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
You're hanging too many
on the bottom.
- Well, I can't reach that height!
- Use the ladder.
Careful, honey.
Yeah, Mark, hold the ladder.
I am!
Yeah, you're doing good, honey.
- Just get up a little higher.
- It looks really good.
What next?
We have the whole side
over here,
- the one that faces the window.
- Mm-hm.
Grandma! Are you sleeping?
No, just resting my eyes.
It was more fun with all of us.
Yeah. Grandpa always helped us
finish the tree.
- You know what? You're right.
- Yep.
- All right. Here we come. Come on.
- Okay.
- The tree topper!
- It's not an angel.
We always have an angel.
Uh-oh. Better think fast.
Not here in Hohman.
Here. Honey, hold this,
will you?
Kids, come over here
by Grandma. Come on.
To hook this little guppy,
I'd need just the right combo
of mystique and legend.
Here in Hohman,
it's star country.
If you don't have a star,
you can forget about it.
Santa won't even stop
by your house.
Wait. Huh?
I'm improvising.
Building new traditions.
- It's good.
- Okay.
No doubt about it.
Around these parts...
no star, no Christmas.
Come on, take the bait.
That's it.
Hook, line and sinker.
- Ralph, we're leaving in 15.
- Okay.
How's it going up here?
Oh. Couldn't be better.
Look at this.
These obituaries
are so impersonal.
Well, make it un-impersonal.
This will be the last time most
folks ever give him a thought.
It's a lot of pressure.
If anyone can do it, it's you.
- I gotta finish getting ready.
- All right. I'll be down in a few.
The human animal
has an incredible knack
for avoiding its greatest
when any easier pursuit...
is nearby.
Don't answer it!
Expecting a big call
from my manager.
Good afternoon.
Mr. Ralph Parker speaking.
Good afternoon to you,
Mr. Parker.
I do hope that we have not caught
you at an inconvenient time.
Your Excellency.
Well, who were you expecting,
President Nixon?
To everyone's amazement,
my kid brother, Randy,
had done quite well for himself,
traveling the globe for
business, a regular Rockefeller.
So I'm calling to see
how Mom's holding up.
Yeah, she said
you're on your way.
Look, Ralph, it's...
it's not that easy getting
from India to Indiana.
But you're working on it, right?
Yeah. I'm at the airport.
Just waiting for
my plane to show up.
And true to form, Randy was
burying his head in the sand.
So how's Mom?
Now, the unspoken
rule amongst siblings
is that under certain
extraordinary circumstances,
a hit below the belt
is not only fair but necessary.
I think she is getting
her strength back.
What does that mean?
She finally ate something.
Thank God.
Half a cracker.
A cracker?
Wait, that's it? A cracker?
Yeah, she's still in bed.
- Hi, Mom.
- Hi.
But she did speak today.
What'd she say?
It was one word.
She said...
But we all know how busy you are
-and how hard you're trying to get here.
- No, wait!
Ralphie, Ralphie! Wait, no!
- Ralphie, don't go.
- Oh. I think she's up.
Ralphie, don't go, don't go.
Okay, gotta go.
- Don't hang up on me now, Ralphie.
Ralphie...- Good luck, Randy. Bye.
There are hobbyists, dabblers,
and dilettantes.
- But they all take a backseat...
- Blade covers.
- To the most annoying amateur of all...
- Pom-poms.
The aficionado.
She packed her own skates?
- Always.
- Oh.
You look like a princess.
My wife was a self-avowed
figure skating devotee.
Okay. Let's go.
Let's go.
- Have fun, Ralphie.
- Bye, Mom.
Her keen ability
to recall every skater,
move, and point value
was matched only by...
her complete lack
of athletic ability.
You know, I really am good
once I get on the ice.
Well, you have such sturdy ankles.
I'm surprised they gave out.
Ah. Ah.
Hey, look.
Found these in the attic.
Pretty fun.
Thank you.
All right. I'll leave these
with you, honey.
- Like, I can do tricks and stuff.
- Uh-huh.
Most bullies enjoy a little
time off for the holidays,
but for devoted lifers like
these, the hunt never ends.
I can even do an arabesque.
Is that what you did
off the front porch?
Like unaware prey
on the Serengeti,
Julie, Mark, and Delbert were distracted
by the Bumpus' junkyard jungle.
- Slow down! I get car sick.
- What?
What happened next
was inevitable.
Mark, they're back!
Go to the backyard.
Whoa. Here they are.
- You better run!
- Come on, Mark.
- Hurry!
- See you later.
Aw... He's stuck.
Hey, kids, do you wanna
play some...
Oh, not on my watch.
- Let him go!
- Say it and we'll let you go.
- Just say it. Mercy.
- No!
- Just say it.
- Say it.
Okay, mercy!
Hey! That's enough!
It's his dad. We gotta bail.
Go, go, go!
Babies need their
daddy to save them.
See you next time!
- Mark, you're okay?
- Leave me alone.
- Mom.
- Oh...
Oh, you're okay.
Oh, here we go.
- Come on.
- Now you done it.
It's open season on us.
Watch your mouth.
Was he right? Was there untold wisdom
lurking behind Delbert's dead eyes?
By protecting them,
was I making things worse?
Pa, they're back!
Oh, Lordy be!
Not Black Bart and his gang.
Your old nemesis.
What we gonna do?
We gonna fight.
We meet again.
Follow my lead.
Get out of my way!
Fight back. What are you doing?
They're useless.
Not Mark!
Pa! Save me!
Oh, no! Pa!
We'll be back, Ralphie.
And you won't be around
to save 'em.
Let's ride!
Oh, Ralph.
Who's going to fight
for us now, Pa?
We're as good as coyote food.
Every parent learns you can't
protect your kids forever.
Eventually, they have to do it
for themselves.
I needed to get Christmas
back on the rails.
And no better place than the biggest and
brightest distraction in all of Hohman.
- Look at that. It's the Higbee's window.
- Wow.
- You guys wanna go see it? Go, go, go.
- Yeah.
- Wow!
- It's pretty good, right?
It's just like you described it.
Magically withstanding
the test of time...
the window at Higbee's
did not disappoint.
Casting its spell
on young and old alike.
Slowly, I could feel the Christmas
ember beginning to glow again.
Time to turn it up
to a full-blown crackle.
Who wants to go see Santa?
- He's inside right now.
- Oh, yes!
- Oh, yes.
- Come on, let's go.
Ho, ho, ho!
Merry Christmas!
This is amazing!
It was.
Thank God. It really was.
Okay. Go get in line for Santa.
- And we will meet you right here when you're done.
- Okay, Mom.
- Bye. Love you.
- All right. Bye. Love you.
Seeing Christmas
through your children's eyes
has the power to summon
long-forgotten memories and emotions.
Don't let him kick you
in the face.
- Huh?
- Oh, it's okay.
Uh, all right. What do we got?
Okay, all right. I have got the
Christmas budget and here's the list.
- Oh, well. You kids have fun.
- All right.
I'm going to the lounge.
- Bye, Ma.
- Bye.
Okay. Flexible Flyer F-23.
- Hungry Hungry Hippos, Easy-Bake Oven.
- Mm-hm. Yeah. It's all there.
- All right. Ready?
- Yeah.
- Let's go!
- Let's go!
- Here you go, sir. Sorry about that.
- Are you okay?
- I'm so sorry.
- Everybody's okay.
- Here we go. Let's get you off your feet.
- Okay.
- I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
- Merry Christmas, buddy.
Thank you.
- Oh, there she is.
- Hi, Ma.
- Hi!
- -We had a little accident.
- Sit down.
- Okay.
- Here we go.
- Thank you.
- There.
- Oh, God. Okay.
I got it. I got it. Okay.
- All right, I'm gonna go. I got this.
- Are you sure you're okay?
- No problem. I can do it. I got it.
- Okay. Good luck.
- Want one?
- Yeah.
We wish you
A merry Christmas
We wish you
A merry Christmas
We wish you
A merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Ho, ho, ho!
Want some?
I like this kind
of Christmas shopping.
Oh, it's very civilized.
Merry Christmas...
All right. I got the puzzle.
- And all the little stuff.
- Okay.
- Ooh. Good work, good work.
- Pretty good start.
- Where are the kids?
- About halfway through.
- Okay. All right. Go, go, go.
- All right. Okay.
My husband's doing
all the Christmas shopping.
She had a skating accident.
Are you sure
you don't want some?
I never...
Ah! Merry Christmas!
We got a wild one.
Get her up.
Last chance.
We're good.
Ho, ho, ho.
Merry Christmas.
- Who's next?
- All right. You're next. Come on up.
- Come on.
- Let's go. Are you? Let's go.
Let's go. Come on!
Don't you dare! Ah!
Oh, Lord.
Jeez! Get the mop.
Go get the mop. Come on.
- You gotta put it in a letter this year.
- Get out of here, kid.
Come back tomorrow.
I really shouldn't drink
this much on an empty stomach.
- I have a candy cane in my purse.
- Mm.
Oh, come on, come on,
lady, please
Merry Christmas!
So you're the real Santa Claus?
Oh, here we go again.
Why, yes, I am.
- Reindeer. How many?
- Eight.
- Naughty kids. What do they get?
- Coal.
Your legal name?
Kristopher Kringle.
North Pole. Longitude
and latitude?
90 North by 135 West.
You're good. Very good.
Yes, I am.
Tree-toppers. Star or angel?
Come on,
Kringle, don't screw this up.
- Star!
- That's my guy!
- You really are Santa.
- Yes, I am!
Okay. I want...
Well, the cat, I can do.
The other thing,
you're on your own.
All right. Here we go.
Merry Christmas! Hey!
Hey, Santa. What other thing?
The kid asked for a radiator...
for a '66 Plymouth.
Oh, let go!
Did you do it?
You didn't think he could do it.
Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
The Batmobile
Lost its wheel
And the Joker got away
You got my mouth.
Oh, damn radiator!
- Ah...
- Are you kidding me?
- Again?
- Poor Ralphie.
- Egg.
- Yeah.
- We're out.
- Ah, you gotta be kidding.
All right. Well, get comfortable.
It's gonna be a while.
Gotta let it cool on its own.
Oh, man!
Mom, can we play in the snow?
Yeah. Why not?
Bring your gloves.
"No, honey, get the Plymouth."
No, no, no.
That's not how you do it.
You gotta pack it tighter
if you want it to go further.
Here, let me show you.
You gotta pack it up.
Come on, you guys have made
snowballs before. Here.
If you want it to go far,
you gotta pack it. Pack it.
Push it. See, the tighter you
pack it, the further it will go.
Like this. Then it goes...
Like that, all right?
Good luck.
Like that?
The question is...
do you have enough ammo?
What did I do?
You're his accomplice.
Snowball fight!
You shouldn't
have challenged me.
Get him! Get him!
Get 'em, Ralphie!
Come on.
- I thought you were injured.
- Mm.
- I'm feeling no pain.
- Well, whose side are you on?
Uh... me and Mark.
And you and Julie.
Oh, you got it.
- Come on, Mom!
- Stop. Take cover.
Oh, God. Oh, God.
- Now!
- Hey!
Wait for me. Oh!
Back in the car, Ma!
Oh, yeah.
That's a good idea.
No, no, no.
Head for cover! Run!
- I bet you can't hit me!
- Want to bet?
- Yes, we can!
- No, you can't!
Oh, yeah? Watch this!
Get 'em, Dad!
Oh, my God! I killed Julie!
- Dad, you ran three stop signs.
- Thank you, Mark.
He is your dad.
Everyone out, please.
- Ralphie.
- Come here. I got her.
- All right.
- She's fine.
- Come on, honey.
- Are we home?
No, Mom. We're at the hospital.
Would you get
in the hospital, please?
Is she gonna lose her eyeball?
She's not losing anything.
Get inside.
You let her
have it. Pow!
Yes, I was there.
I saw.
You'll be okay, sweetheart.
She's fine.
- Mark, it's not polite to stare.
- Uh-huh.
Would you look at that?
I'm a Cyclops.
- Oh... Hey. Oh, oh.
- Oh, honey.
Come on, let's get you home.
I'll put some Bactine on it.
I'm so sorry, sweetheart.
No, it's okay, honey.
Because the doctor said it's just
gonna be a couple of days, tops.
Yeah. Better to be safe.
We don't want anything
to get in that eye.
Like a snowball?
Okay. Let's get you home. Okay?
- We'll get you safe.
- Um, Ralph...
Were we robbed?
My mind grappled
with the grim reality
that every dollar we had set
aside for Christmas was spent!
And now, just three days
before Christmas,
what do we have to show for it?
Not one stinkin' thing!
The only upshot...
- That hurt?
- No.
Our kids had no idea.
Son of a bitch.
You got that right.
Faced with
an impossible situation,
I did what any good parent
would do in a time like this.
Completely ignore the problem
and hope it goes away on its own.
Hey, Reuben. It's Ralph Parker.
I just wanted to call
and let you know
that I'm close to completing
my follow-up manuscript.
I can probably have it
wrapped up in a few days.
So if you think it'll
make a difference...
Seeing as though we haven't
heard back on the one.
- Nothing yet, huh?
- Yeah.
Okay. Uh...
Do you know if they received
the fruit basket I sent?
I know. I know.
I'm getting to that.
Ralph, I know you'll write
a great obituary.
But right now,
we need to focus on Christmas.
Yeah, I know.
I'd love nothing more.
But I'm just a little hung up on the monsters
that stole presents from our children.
I had everything. I had everything.
Every gift.
You were a sight
to behold at Higbee's.
I was. I really was.
But then, you know, we get into a
snowball fight, we're having fun,
and then Mark says, "Hey, I bet
you can't hit me from here!"
- And then she just came out of nowhere.
- Ralph...
- I mean, I didn't see her. She just sort of teleported.
- Ralph.
Honey, everyone knows that you
did not try to bean our daughter.
This is, you know...
My dad made this all
look so easy.
Yeah, that's what
good parents do.
But that doesn't mean
it was easy.
So, look, I put together
all our cash
and what we have left
of the Christmas fund
and we can still
get the kids some presents.
How much do we have?
Including the change
from the ashtray...
It was worse than I thought.
Things had sunk to a new low,
forcing us to attempt the most
delicate of parental maneuvers...
the lowering of expectations.
- It's crazy.
- Hey, kids.
So, this Christmas, we
thought it might be really fun
to focus a little more
on gratitude.
Wait, what's going on?
That was fast.
Well, that's what
we wanted to talk about.
Um, because Christmas isn't really
about how many great gifts you get.
- Oh, no.
- Isn't it?
They're onto us.
No. It isn't, Mark.
Because this is part of Christmas, right?
And maybe the best part.
Yeah, all of us together,
enjoying delicious home-cooked...
Nice try, Sandy.
Are you saying we're not getting
presents, just more casserole?
- No, no, no.
- No.
What your mom
is trying to help me say
-is that there will be presents.
- Mm-hm.
- Yeah.
- Just more likely not the ones you wanted.
Does this mean
Santa's not coming?
Bail out, bail out!
Eject, eject!
No, no. Of course he's coming.
Because Santa always comes.
Yeah. Yeah.
No, we just want you to keep
one thing in mind.
Oh, please, please.
Don't say it.
It's the thought that counts.
Oh, no! She said it!
Kids can smell that stinker
from a mile away.
So, Christmas is gonna suck?
I knew it! This means I'm not
getting a sled, doesn't it?
Okay, less attitude
and more gratitude, mister.
Well, they certainly
got the message.
Can you just go after Mark?
Wanna play Spades?
One-Eyed Jacks?
No, thanks, Grandma.
I have something important
I need to figure out.
Mark, let's go for a walk.
Come on.
Suds for Dad,
Shirley Temple for the kid.
To Christmas.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
Ah, the genius
of the Shirley Temple.
A few simple ingredients that can make a
kid feel like he's one of the grown-ups.
Oh, no, no. Ralphie.
After the week you've had, don't
worry about it. It's on the house.
Whoa! Did I hear
"on the house"?
No, you didn't.
Hey, how's your
Christmas going, kid?
It's okay, I guess.
I'm trying to focus
on gratitude.
That's real low, Ralph.
Hey, Mark,
you ever bartend before?
- I'm ten.
- Old enough. Come on back here.
Have some fun. Come on.
Any in here?
Nope. Nothing.
Look at you.
Hey. Come with me.
What do you want?
I'm fixin' to feed the lobster.
I found your puppy.
She must have
gotten out somehow.
What's your angle?
If you want your adorable
little puppy back,
I want a reward.
What kinda reward?
There you go.
No way.
You got it.
Just go right down there.
Hey, thanks, kid.
You're all right.
Mark, answer it. Go on.
Hello? Mm-hm.
Hold on. Let me check.
Is Junior here?
Junior Kissel?
- Junior Kissel?
- No.
Junior Kissel?
- No?
- No.
No, I'm sorry, ma'am.
There's no one here
named Junior.
Merry Christmas to you, too.
Good job. You're great.
- He's great.
- Your kid's a natural.
Well done, kid.
- There you go.
- Wow.
Flick. Beer and a bag of pork rinds.
Put it on my tab.
No, out of pork rinds.
Jeez. What kind of bar
runs out of pork rinds?
Hey, you know, last week
they were out of corn nuts.
It's the kind of bar that floats
a guy who runs up a big tab
while disrespecting the place.
Whoa. I don't like your tone.
Though he'd be
the last to admit it,
deep down somewhere
in his inner core,
Flick had it out for Schwartz since
that day on the playground long ago.
And what kind of tone would
you prefer, Your Highness?
You know, you may be
a little more comfortable
down the street
at The Knight Cap.
The Knight Cap?
The Knight Cap? Ugh. Dante's
lowest circle of bars.
The Knight Cap?
- Oh, you think?
- Yeah, maybe I do.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
- Yeah? You're taking it back.
- Why would I?
I swear on my mother, Flick.
- You're taking it back!
- Oh, yeah?
Well, how about this?
I'll take it back
if you ride The Ramp.
The Ramp?
No one with half a brain
would agree to ride The Ramp.
What, are you out of your skull?
I mean, I'm a grown man.
I ain't ridin' no ramp.
But Flick was already
two moves ahead.
- I'll clear your tab.
- Ooh.
Poor Schwartz was outmaneuvered.
Rather than lose face
with his fellow lowlifes,
Schwartz sealed his fate.
- You're on.
- Okay.
- All right.
- Everybody out.
Dad, let's go!
The Ramp.
An abandoned experiment from
the Army Corps of Engineers.
In winter, it transformed into
a frosted sluice of terror.
On The Ramp, you may as well
be riding in your coffin.
- Holy...
- Yeah? What was that?
Huh? No. Nothing.
Here. It's your funeral.
He's gonna ride that?
What the hell are you looking at?
Stupid kids.
He's out of his mind.
Keep going.
Keep going up that hill,
Schwartzy. Let's go!
It's getting cold!
What are you doing, man?
Oh, he's gonna chicken out.
Don't worry.
This is crazy.
This is crazy.
But it's gonna clear my tab.
Hey, you gonna go down,
or we gonna stand here
and freeze our nuts off?
If revenge is a dish
best served cold,
this was a frozen dinner.
There's no way I'm gonna kill
myself for this. It's crazy!
Hey, Schwartz!
I Triple Dog Dare you!
Oh, if Schwartz backed down now,
he could never show his face
in Flick's Tavern,
or perhaps even
in Hohman ever again.
Oh, I got him now. I got him.
Okay. We should probably
move out of the way.
Hey, hey, hey, Ralphie.
He's gonna be okay, right?
We should just probably
move out of the way.
- He's going to do it!
- All right, let's go!
- Schwartz.
- Schwartz.
- Schwartz, wake up.
- Schwartz, wake up.
Schwartz. Schwartz.
- Is he alive?
- I think. I don't know.
- Schwartz, wake up, man.
- Schwartz.
The stink!
Uh... I thought we
lost you there, brother.
Did I do it?
- Did I clear my tab?
- Yeah, come on, Flick!
Yeah, your tab is forgiven.
- Let's get you home.
- Okay.
Wait, but first,
let's go get a drink.
Put it on my tab.
Fueled by bravado,
one-upmanship, and libations,
the barflies took matters
into their own hands.
- No! My sled!
- Come on!
Any sensible person knew full well,
no one over 40 should go sledding.
But these were
not sensible people.
You could not look away.
Make way!
Make way!
Ooh. Ooh.
I hadn't seen that many
cold-weather casualties
since the Korean War.
Dad! Watch this!
Mark! No! No!
Watch out!
Slow down, kid.
Oh, my God!
I killed Mark!
It's so late.
Everything go okay with Mark?
- More or less.
- That's good.
I took care of the presents.
Oh. Thank you.
You're welcome.
Good night.
Good night.
By the way...
- Mark broke his arm.
- Hm?
My mother was one of the most creative
and ruthless Scrabble players,
in the entire Midwest.
Everyone knew better
than to lock horns with her.
Sandy, on the other hand...
Oh, um, I don't think
"bajillion" is actually a word.
Yes, it is.
You just used it in a sentence.
So, that's a double-word score,
a double-word score,
and a seven-tile bonus
which is 50 points.
So, just give me a second.
122 points.
Kids, you know, when
your father was your age,
he had a similar
sort of problem,
but he worked it out.
Uh, the Scut Farkus Affair.
Really? What happened?
Well, he beat the snot
out of that kid.
That's what happened.
- Wow!
- Daddy beat someone up?
Wait, that story is true?
Is it so hard to believe?
Huh. Ralph.
- Did he ever bother you again?
- Nope.
Hey, you guys gotta
get this figured out.
You can't just
be a target for 'em.
- That's not a word.
- Yes, it is.
It's just a fancy
word for "cabinet."
- You have one upstairs.
- I certainly do not.
In Indiana, we say "wardrobe."
- Come on, grab your coat.
- What for?
I have an idea.
"Arm." For five.
Oh, boy!
Five whole points for Sandy.
Good for you.
It's hideous.
The worst.
The window was closing, and
I needed some good news.
All my hopes were pinned
on one last publisher.
- Hello, it's Reuben.
- Hey, Reuben. It's Ralph again.
- Ralph.
- Uh...
Wow. Still in the office
on Christmas Eve?
- That's dedication.
- Yeah.
Um, I was just calling
to check in, um,
one last time, before Christmas.
No. Ralph.
Um, not interested in it.
I see.
That was it. I had my chance.
And now... I had my answer.
Ralphie, are you all right?
No. No.
That obituary is the hardest damn
thing I have ever had to write.
And I just found out why.
I'm no writer.
Just ask any publisher
in Chicago.
Nobody cares, Mom.
Nobody wants my book.
It's over.
- Oh, Ralphie.
- And an obituary?
How do you sum up a man's life
into a paragraph?
I can't do it.
Ralphie, look at me.
Just forget about the
publishers and the paragraphs.
Forget about trying to write
the perfect words.
Life isn't perfect.
Your father certainly
wasn't perfect.
Just write about
the man you love.
Or don't.
It's up to you.
He looks like a pink nightmare.
This is a lamp!
I had one when
I was eight years old.
Incredibly, the dam had broken.
Once I got out of the way, the words
and emotions poured onto the page.
My fingers raced to keep up
with the flood of memories
of my old man.
Are you okay?
You know, actually...
I am...
- What's going on with you two?
- Nothin'!
Behind every nothin',
there's always a somethin'.
- Here they come.
- Look! Another snowman.
Say goodbye!
Oh, my...
Gee, what happened, fellas?
Yeah, fellas.
Run into something?
Like a tree stump?
That is mine.
Thank you very much.
Pop's gonna kill us.
- Look! He done pissed himself!
- Did not!
Laughter, the sharpest
weapon in the arsenal of man,
able to cut giants down
to the size of mice.
Come on.
- Did you actually pee yourself?
- Shut up.
Nice job.
I got snowmobiles.
Wait a minute, folks.
North American Aerospace
Defense Command radar
has just picked up an unknown
flying object in the night sky.
It's headed south toward the
continental United States
at a very high rate of speed.
- Repeat, NORAD radar...
- Is that what I think it is?
Has just intercepted a signal
originating from the North Pole.
It's Santa Claus!
It's Santa Claus!
You know what?
I think it is!
At last, we were one silent
night away from Christmas.
I was home free.
By morning, my job would be...
The star. It shattered.
Not just shattered, pulverized!
Can we fix it?
Oh, honey...
You said it won't be Christmas
without a star.
Oh, no, honey. It's okay. We can
still have a great Christmas.
No! You said Santa won't
come without a star.
Oh, honey.
- Did I say that?
- Yes!
Well, I didn't know
this was gonna happen.
I knew it. No Christmas.
Okay. You know what?
I'm gonna go out,
and I'm gonna get us a star.
An even better one!
Ralphie, it's Christmas Eve.
- Well, then I better hurry.
- Well, uh... Everything's closed!
Well, you heard her.
Where are you going?
I am fixing this.
Ralph! Just give it up.
No! I am not giving it up.
I'm gonna go get us a star!
Oh. And we're gonna
have a great Christmas!
Get out of here!
Not now. Not now.
Not now, damn it.
Get out of here.
Get out of here.
As the town went dark, so did my
hopes of completing my mission.
The term "breaking and entering" has
always had such an unduly, sinister tone.
"Borrowing from a friend,"
on the other hand,
that sounded
downright neighborly.
If Flick were here,
he'd let me in.
But since he wasn't...
Son of a...
Come on.
With star in hand, I could return
triumphant to my adoring family.
Christmas would be saved.
You! Hold it right there.
Put your hands up.
I said put 'em up.
It's okay.
I know the owner, Flick.
I just had to borrow
a Christmas star.
I left a note.
You left a note.
Well, that's a new one.
Don't I know you?
Scut Farkus.
There he was,
with those same yellow eyes.
Dear God,
he still had yellow eyes!
I hadn't said as much
as two words to Scut
since I miraculously knocked
the snot out of him decades ago.
Say uncle!
Maybe he wouldn't recognize me.
Ralph Parker.
Breaking and entering. Never
imagined you'd end up like this.
Wait. I can explain.
Get in the car.
Rule number one.
When taken by the enemy,
don't show fear.
Befriend your captor
and develop a rapport.
So, what's it been?
20, 30 years?
if you're counting.
Oh, this was it.
Scut would lock me up
and throw away the key.
What would become of my family?
- Who's there?
- You got visitors.
Dead man walking.
Wow, you look great.
I feel great, Ralph.
Better than ever.
Hello, Dad.
Why are you talking like that?
Oh, look. He suddenly cares.
You never came home, Dad. So
things went a wee bit rotten.
Julie, is that you?
- Brought you a present.
- What happened to your eye?
Well, you did keep
one promise, Ralph.
It was a Christmas
we'll never forget.
Never forget.
Never forget.
Never forget. Never forget.
Never forget.
Never forget.
Never forget.
Ah, man.
That's the police station.
I think we just passed it.
Don't worry about it.
Don't worry?
I was very worried.
Oh, forget jail.
Scut was gonna kill me!
You're looking kinda
jumpy, Parker.
Me? No. I'm fine.
Like busting into a bar
on a Christmas Eve fine?
Oh, I didn't want to do that.
I had to. I needed
that star for the tree
for my family for Christmas.
None of it makes any sense.
When we were kids,
life was simple.
It was all just fun and games.
Am I right?
Lots of laughs.
Yeah, now I got some
devil spawn of my own,
running around all day
on that stupid snowmobile.
Between us... I think they're
worse than I ever was.
No. What are you talking about?
I mean, you...
You were great.
Oh, what was I saying?
My mind was mush.
My dying words were lies!
All lies!
Farkus. Come in, Farkus.
- What's your 20?
- Can you hear me?
Oh, no!
How would he do it?
Death by a thousand cuts?
Buried alive?
Medieval chin breaker?
Burned at the stake?
Steam rolled? Pool of piranhas?
End of the road, Parker.
Oh, no! This was it!
Kiss my sweet ass...
This is home, right?
Yeah, this is home.
Breaking into Flick's dump, huh?
You must've really
needed that star.
Yeah, I did.
Look, I appreciate you blowing
smoke up my dress like you did,
but we both know
when we were kids...
I was kind of a nightmare.
I was just trying
to be a tough guy, you know?
Like my old man.
But that day you handed my ass to me...
I mean, that got me thinkin'.
Not sure where this is going.
You know, I put all
that garbage behind me.
And look at me now.
I'm one of the good guys.
So I guess what I'm saying is...
I owe you, Parker.
Merry Christmas, Ralph.
Merry Christmas, Scut.
You know, if anyone else but me
had answered that call,
you'd be rotting
in a jail cell all weekend.
How about that?
Oh, Ralphie.
You found a star.
I miss him, Ma.
I miss him, too.
But I know he's here.
- I'll get the fuse.
- No. No. You go to bed.
I've gotta learn to do these
things on my own from now on.
- I'll be fine.
- Okay.
Okay, so, go. Go on.
- I'm going up.
- Okay. All right.
Be careful, Ma.
Good night, Ralphie.
Good night.
Wake up!
- Come on, it's Christmas!
- There's presents under the tree!
We have to go see! Come on!
- Okay, we're up, we're up.
- Okay, okay.
- Hurry up!
- Faster!
Look, Julie!
Daddy, Daddy, you did it!
- You got the star and Santa came!
- -Look at it!
- Is that a beer logo?
- Awesome.
Don't ask.
- Oh. Merry Christmas.
- Oh. Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas, Ma.
- He ate the cookies!
- Good morning.
- -And the stockings are full!
- Wow.
- Did you get extra presents?
No. Did you?
"For Ralph. Love, Dad."
"For Julie. Love, Grandpa."
Mom, these are all from Dad.
Last night, when I was
down in the basement
fixing the fuse, I found them.
He must've got them before.
Yeah. He did good.
- Well, come on! Let's open gifts!
- Yeah!
Each of us, in turn, opened
the gifts from my old man,
marveling at their
thoughtful perfection.
An Easy-Bake Oven!
- I can make Christmas cookies today!
- -Yeah!
It even has a pom-pom.
- Wow.
- Really pretty.
- It is soft.
- Yeah.
- Ah...
- Fountain pen.
- Oh, lovely.
- Wow.
A Flexible Flyer F-23
Yankee Clipper!
How did he know?
He knows. He always knows.
And right when it seemed the only
thing missing was the old man,
he was here, just like
always, on Christmas morning.
- Whoa! Look at that.
- Oh, you are...
Oh, boy.
We tore into the remaining
presents with abandon.
See, now your papa can't
hit you in the eyes anymore.
It was an accident.
Some were from
Mom's stockings from Santa,
and the rest from Sandy's ingenious
use of our remaining cash.
It's a party calendar.
- Disco.
- Disco.
- Disco. Yeah.
- Look at that.
No one cared how much
they cost, because...
and I can't believe
I'm admitting this,
it was the thought that counts.
He's gonna break his other arm, too.
Yeah. He just might.
- And, Dad, I have something for you.
- Oh.
- Ooh.
- The gifts are great.
- Thanks.
- You're welcome.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
Oh. A radiator.
- Where did you...
- I blackmailed Delbert.
- It was easy.
- That's my girl.
Thank you, sweetheart.
I love it.
- Delbert Bumpus. The gift that
keeps on giving. - Oh, my God.
I can't wait.
Me neither.
Not until
the casseroles are finished.
Come on, let's go.
Two plates, two forks.
- Off you go.
- You serious?
I'm serious.
Out you go. Come on.
Put some meat
on those bones. Go on.
- It never ends.
- I know, I know.
You know, I've been thinking.
I mean, a year, it really
isn't that much time.
- And to build a writing career...
- No, honey.
A deal's a deal.
And it was a real gift.
But come January,
I'm going back to work.
And that's okay.
It wasn't the lack of success
that bothered me.
It was the sting
that laid in the belief
that I still had something
meaningful to say.
Great job!
Hey, Ralphie!
The wife and I loved your story.
The newspaper.
It's great!
It's my story.
How did they get my story?
Don't look at me.
I gave it to 'em.
What are you talking about?
Well, last night, after you
stormed out, the newspaper called.
They wanted the obituary
for the Sunday paper.
So, I borrowed your mom's car
and I dropped it off.
It's not an obituary.
No, I know.
The editor said the same thing.
Ralph, I read it. It's the
best thing you've ever written.
And besides,
I wasn't about to give them
the lousy three sentences
you scribbled on that notepad.
Oh, I'll get it.
Hello? Yes.
Yes, he's here.
It's for you.
Who is it?
It's the editor from the paper.
Yes, I do. All right.
Okay. Mm-hm.
Thank you.
Well, what did he say?
He wants to know
if I have more stories.
You did it.
I did it. I did it!
I did it.
I did. I actually did it!
I was a bona fide
published writer!
And they wanted more!
- I'll get it!
- He also said it's gonna be syndicated.
- What?
- What does that mean?
It means it's going
in all the papers.
- Even in Chicago?
- Yeah.
Come on. Let's go read it!
- Ralph.
- Wait for me!
- Thank you, honey.
- Of course.
- Ralphie, you have visitors.
- Go, go, go!
- Okay. Okay.
- Go!
Who is it, Ma?
There he is!
Hohman's own Ray Bradbury!
Oh, man! Good job.
- Hey! Yeah, good stuff, man.
- Thanks, buddy.
Mom loved it.
- Had me read it to her twice.
- Wow.
- Thanks for the story, Ralph.
- Hey, Larry.
Great excuse to get
out of the house.
- Yeah.
- Oh, yeah.
How do you feel about casserole?
- I love it.
- You must be hungry.
- Let's eat!
- Come on.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
As the word spread, it seemed like
half the neighborhood showed up.
My mother welcomed them
with open arms...
as long as they
weren't carolers.
- You digging in?
- Ralph.
- No, it's not true.
- Officer Farkus...
Hey! What's all the fuss?
Oh, Randy!
- Randy!
- Mom!
- Hey! Merry Christmas, big brother.
- You made it.
Yeah. A cracker?
- Uncle Randy!
- Hey, runts! How are you doing?
Good to see you.
Good to see you.
Hey, why don't you go check out
that suitcase over there.
I picked up some gifts
along the way.
- Sandy!
- Randy!
- Hey.
- Hey. Merry Christmas.
It's the stuffed cat I wanted!
Cool! A saber.
- Awesome!
- Oh.
No, no, no.
What's that smell?
Casserole. Come on, let's eat.
- What, on Christmas?
- Let's go. Go.
Come on. We need some dishes.
Extra chairs. Come on,
everybody. Come on.
Everyone gathered 'round,
rolled up their sleeves,
and loosened
their belts a notch.
Those casseroles
didn't stand a chance.
Not with the bottomless
pit known as...
good ol' Larry Novak.
Turkey! Turkey's ready!
Make room for the turkey!
Here we go. All right.
When I tallied up
the final scorecard,
it was hardly the perfect
holiday I'd imagined.
My wife on crutches,
broken arm for my son,
my daughter nearly blinded,
stolen gifts,
and my book flopped.
But somehow, beyond the scope
of probability,
through all the headaches
and heartaches,
the house was filled with life,
and love once again.
The old man would be proud.
Hot damn, Ralph!
You did it.
Mom, what'd you think?
Oh, I haven't read it yet.
- What?
- No.
I wanted to hear it
from my son, the writer.
Yeah, Dad. Read it.
Come here.
Come here.
"My Old Man."
My old man didn't just
celebrate Christmas,
he indulged in it.
Brought it to life
for his family.
One Christmas in particular
stood out as the gold standard.
And it all started back in the
good old house on Cleveland Street.
Christmas was on its way...
lovely, glorious,
beautiful Christmas
around which
the entire kid year revolved.
Downtown Hohman was prepared
for its annual bacchanalia
of peace on Earth
and good will to men.
But more importantly,
to one boy,
his quest to acquire
the most coveted gift
a nine-year-old
could hope for...
"The Holy Grail"
Holy Grail
of Christmas gifts.
The Red Ryder, 200 shot,
range model air rifle.