There is no better place and time to debut something new than at Christmas. Welcome to the first installment of The Bucket List. This is not going to be a long drawn out process such as the Morgan Freeman and I am not going to just write a list to have and check off. I feel that may actually be too easy, and if you know anything about me, I am anything but easy. Unless there is booze involved. Honestly, does anyone actually keep a physical copy of their bucket list where they check off each moment passed. Chances are that the answer is no. I am going to make the same pun that I made last night when discussing the idea and had no idea I actually said it, Let’s Kick It.
As many of you know I am a major fan of Christmas. There is not a bone in my body that does not somehow scream like Buddy the Elf seeing a department store Santa. Excitement may not even be the best word to describe it. I get a high around this time that I can’t get rid of. Now that I think about it, it may honestly be just a sugar high. Well, this year the Christmas spirit has been there but just not as strong as previous years. I am not sure why either and I feel that this year that a terrible villain somehow sucked all of the Christmas spirit out of us, and somehow is shipping it Russia. A small story, I was in Wal-Mart the other night, and they were already pulling Christmas stuff. The fact that Wal-Mart is pulling their Christmas stuff before New Year’s just baffles the mind. I remember as a kid the second biggest shopping day of the year for us was the day after Christmas, because stuff became cheap. Or at least in my mom’s eyes, the day she would shank a bitch.
One of my favorite thing about Christmas is sitting down watching the movies that are associated with the Holiday of lights. You can’t go wrong with a feel-good story, with a good message. Unless that movie is the Hulk Hogan “classic” Santa with Muscles, and then going wrong is just part of it. My absolute favorite Christmas movie came out in 1983, A Christmas Story. Even though the movie is played on a continual loop on TNT or TBS or CNN, look it doesn’t matter, it’s on for 24 hours thanks to a Turner network. I did not become introduced to the movie till my freshman year of high school and at the time we were reading a short story by Jean Shepard about Grover Dill. Grover Dill just happens to make an appearance in A Christmas Story, as the flunky to Scut Farkus. So instead of reading more, our teacher decided to show us A Christmas Story on a day where we didn’t leave second period for a very long time. As many of you know, it is difficult to finish a full movie in a class period. But I digress. The movie had a bigger impact with me when my best friend at the time starting laughing so hard at the moment where Ralphie puts on the Bunny Suit. It was one of the laughs that start out really loud, and he couldn’t stop where it just turned silent, and you had to look at him occasionally to make sure he was breathing. The movie was stuck in my head and became a tradition in my house from 1999 onward.
A movie being as old as A Christmas Story leads to one thing, you are only going to be able to watch it at home. I feel there are fans of a lot of older movies that have this same issue. One of which is not being able to watch the original trilogy of Star Wars on the big screen. I am not sure about any of you but there is just something special about seeing a movie on the big screen compared to watching it on the small screen. It is just a different experience to watch a movie the way it was intended. I have searched for years to see A Christmas Story on the big screen. The closest showing to where I have been would be longer than a car ride, but not enough time for a plane ride. I knew eventually the day would come that I would be able to see the movie in the way that God intended. Well, that day finally arrived.
A few weeks ago, I found out that a theater in Batesville, Arkansas called The Melba would be showing holiday classics in the month of December. One of those happened to be the movie that I have been seeking out on the big screen for years. Well, it just happened to work out, the planets were all aligned and we were able to go. First off, if you are able to see a movie at The Melba, you need too. They show movies that have passed from the theater and right before they come out on DVD. The theater is absolutely beautiful and something that is needed to be seen by all. We were standing in line while the glow of electric sex gleamed from the ticket booth window. Remember, me saying that I have been around people who have not had the Christmas spirit? Well, all of that changed in the span of an hour. The theater became packed very quickly, and a lot more people than I even expected. I understand that the movie was popular, but I had no idea.
So, the atmosphere is creating an environment that a person can’t help but smile in. And then add something else that I absolutely love at events. The idea of it being a family event. As an adult, I go to a mix of events where one is mostly for adults and the next one is for families and I seem to have more fun at the events that are for the whole family. And last night was no exception. Families, a beautiful venue, and my favorite Christmas movie. We even had a conversation with a woman sitting in front of us about how awesome it was that the theater was doing this. And then we explained to her, that we were so excited that we drove over an hour away. She was excited that we came to support her community and their theater which opened in 1939.
The movie began, and it is rare to say that the entire experience was fun. I can only say that about one other movie experience and that happens on Halloween night. The crowd laughed together, we were all kids watching the movie on television while opening gifts. But the funniest moment came when the scene where Ralphie finally gives the bully what he has coming to him. And you can hear a child, who may be 6 years old, tell his mom that it was ok, the bully had it coming. It is a night I will never forget, and that it will be always something special to me. If you have an opportunity to watch A Christmas Story on the big screen, you need to do it. Because if you need a non-lethal injection of Christmas spirit, watching that movie with a group of people who love it as much as you do will do just that. I can mark ‘See A Christmas Story on the Big Screen’ off of The Bucket List.