A Christmas Story (1983) PG, 94 mins., directed by Bob Clark, starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin
Credit: Everett Collection

TBS’ 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story makes my sister want to shoot her eye out.

I learned this a few years ago when, as we started the present distribution process on Christmas morning, she begged the family for an alternative viewing option. “I can’t watch this movie anymore,” she declared. At the time, I was horrified, appalled, and wanted that ruiner of Christmas joy I once called a sister cast away from the home like the filthy turncoat she was. (Spoiler: We let her stay.)

Flash-forward to last year, when, I hate to admit, I started to understand where she was coming from. After multiple viewings and multiple years of 24-hour marathons, I’m kind of sick of A Christmas Story.

This won’t be the case forever, I hope. Maybe after a few years of avoiding it, I will be able to return and once again be charmed. But until that day comes, I need a break. In fact, I think we all deserve one — it’s time TBS changed up their movie marathon.

I know what you’re probably thinking, why would I be in favor of another movie-ruining marathon? Well, the answer is simple: For a very long time, the Christmas Story marathon wasn’t a bad thing. Actually, it was something of a treasured “Christmas is here” tradition. I just think it’s time for the tradition to evolve — like all of them do.

I asked my family for their thoughts on movies they’d like to see get the 24-hour marathon treatment (on TBS or another network) last night at the dinner table. (Dirty truth: we were all on the couch eating Whataburgers.) Here were some of the alternative options suggested — and some choice commentary:

+ National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. An annual viewing of this film is already a Gonzalez family tradition, so we had many votes for this. The only objection came from my dad, who said the movie loses its “oomph” when it’s edited for networks. (His favorite part is Clark Griswold’s foul-mouthed emotional breakdown.)

The Polar Express. “I wouldn’t care if that one got ruined.” — heartless sister

+ Love Actually. “Sandy, you already watch that 24 hours a day during Christmas.” — everyone

+ The Nightmare Before Christmas. This was my pick. I had no backers; Jack scares my mom.

+ Mickey’s Christmas Carol. “Merry Christmas — please enjoy the saddest cartoon ever.” — truth teller

Other suggestions?

A Christmas Story
  • Movie
  • 94 minutes