Cute stories about American children and Christmas are seemingly endless.  One to add has come to the attention of my wife and myself during the past week.

It is planned that a certain granddaughter will spend Christmas Eve with gramma and grampa. That’s the night, of course, during which tradition promises that Santa Claus will visit each child’s home with presents, leaving them to open on Christmas morning.

We have a gas fireplace that would be difficult to traverse for even a mouse, much less a bag of presents.  Granddaughter is not to be deterred in her belief of a visit by Santa. She has already explained to her mother—in no uncertain terms—that she does not want to sleep in that room.  Why?  Because she does not want to get in Santa’s way or startle him by waking up when he’s in the middle of a special delivery.

She says she must sleep in a room with a door that shuts tightly. She simply does not want to disturb Santa at work and also does not want to see or hear anything among the presents that would spoil a total surprise at day break.  This little girl, this pre-school child, has mastered the particulars for making certain Santa and presents from his North Pole workshop will get to her and a chuckle for us.

When granddaughter’s wishes were passed along to me, I thought of her mother and our other daughter’s childhood fantasies about Santa and the Easter Bunny. Meanwhile, when children and Christmas come to mind, I think again about my favorite and most endearing Christmas movie, A Christmas Story.  When I was a child, my family and I always watched It’s a Wonderful Life, but it was kind of “dark” and scary in places, much like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Imagining there is an American adult who has never viewed A Christmas Story, is a stretch beyond my grasp. Nevertheless, if there is such an American, it’s hoped that they will see it this December.  Disappointment in the movie is unlikely as its 93 minutes will keep any newcomer viewing it from beginning to end.

In the movie, the couple’s oldest son desires to receive a BB gun drives the plot of the film.  The father wins a “major award” in a contest but does not know what it is until it’s delivered; meanwhile, it causes “the battle of the lamp” between the movie mom and dad.  Another howler is the dad’s never-ending struggle with the family’s ancient furnace.  Then there’s the neighbor’s dog, the flat tire scene and the final confrontation with the neighborhood bully.  Lots of laughs and good family flick fun can be enjoyed in this G-rated movie that can be seen more than once to absorb every last tickle.

A Merry Christmas is passed along from this writer to all Keizertimes readers.  May you and yours bask in the warmth and good cheer of a traditional American family gathering, regardless of how cold it gets outside.  And, keep in mind, as the new year gets underway, longer days and warming temperatures are a mere five months away.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)