A Christmas Story

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There’s not a Christmas that goes by that the movie “A Christmas Story” isn’t run over and over again, once, even, in a 24-hour marathon on TBS — in case you missed it the first 10 times it ran. What once was a cult classic has become an American holiday classic, a must-see when it comes to Christmas TV.

The question is why? Why has it become such a classic? Besides the entertaining, yet stereotypical, characters, and the hilarity and angst of school fights, holidays with the family and visits to Santa from a child’s perspective, what is it that so many people find so engaging?

Some might say it’s because the movie makes each one of us recall our own childhood Christmases. Others might mention that it reminds us of a simpler time, a time when Christmas parades were the highlight of the year, when shop owners knew their customers by name, when Santa was real and letters written to him really went to the North Pole. It reminds us of a time when we weren’t too busy to celebrate Christmas as a community, with friends, neighbors and even strangers.

But it’s not too late to do that exact thing. Right now, there are people working behind the scenes — the Kiwanis, City of Washington employees, Washington Harbor District Alliance volunteers, downtown merchants and more — to create a community Christmas celebration.

On Dec. 7, downtown Washington will be alight with the holiday spirit: A Christmas parade, Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Tour of Homes, the Beaufort County Arts Council’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Show and merchants’ open houses up and down Main and Market streets, all pitching in to recreate that Hometown Holiday feel that exists in the movies.

On Dec. 7, get out, go downtown, watch a parade, help your children or grandchildren write a letter to Santa, meet your merchants and shop with them, take a tour of the homes you’ve only seen from the street, buy a handcrafted gift from a local artisan. It’s the perfect opportunity to make our own Christmas story —one that rivals those in the movies.