Eventually, the tradition of watching A Christmas Story over and over and over during one night of the holiday season is going to be holiday canon. Just as you can't celebrate the birth of Jesus without a decorated tree and stockings and egg nog, you won't be able to ignore Bob Clark's 1983 classic. There will be songs about it, like "Oh, A Christmas Story," and "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Story Marathon Viewing TIme," and there will also be a Claymation special where Rudolph is all upset because DirecTV is in a standoff with TBS and he can't watch the movie even once let alone 12 times.
A Christmas Story is great. It's a national treaure as much as it's a Christmas staple. In fact, the Library of Congress just selected it for presevation and added it to the National Film Registry. It joins It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street there. Of these two, the former is traditionally aired on NBC Christmas Eve and the latter is part of AMC's holiday movie programming. But neither gets the sort of treatment that A Christmas Story does, although 34th Street has been marathoned in the past. So has Scrooged. Why hasn't either become cemented the way Ralphie and family have?
The other day, Film School Rejects writer Nathan Adams used his weekly "Overrated/Underpraised" column to propose another film deserving a marathon this time of year: Gremlins. Is it no longer popular? Is it not family friendly enough? Adams writes, "Despite the fact that the movie is set during Christmas, and is about the perfect Christmas present just as much as A Christmas Story is, its horror elements have kept it from getting into the regular holiday rotation."
If Gremlins is too scary for the holiday -- not necessarily because of the little monsters so much as the story Kate (Phoebe Cates) tells about her father -- what other Christmas movies are worthy of a marathon? I figure a lot of people will go with Die Hard (which sadly didn't make it on the NFR this year in spite of a strong campaign). Other ideas include any of those we've listed as "The Five Best Christmas Movies to Watch with Your Kids." Also, Love Actually, Rocky IV and Bob Clark's other holiday classic, Black Christmas, would all make great marathons for the right cable station.
Just nobody do a marathon of the awful-looking A Christmas Story 2.
Which Christmas movie deserves its own marathon on TV?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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