One of my all time favorite movies is "A Christmas Story" which follows the plight Ralphie Parker who is a nine year old boy from Indiana. The main point of this story is Raphie's desire for a "Genuine Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle" for Christmas. Throughout the movie, all the indicators are that it is just not going to happen. His mother is thoroughly against the idea and reinforces her argument with the chant "you'll shoot your eye out." Dad seems ambivalent and just brushes him off. Even the Department Store Santa ignores his plea and instead follows the stores marketing line by directing Ralphie to tell his parents about the latest special toy the have on sale. Everything points to Ralphie not getting his hearts desire. But does that discourage Ole Ralphie? No way! He never misses the opportunity to put forward his case of why the BB gun is really the right present for him. He clings hard to the belief that if he just wishes hard enough , stays true to the dream, clings to the hope, he'll get his "Genuine Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle" for Christmas. Of course, in the movie, Ralphie does get it. But to me that is really irrelevant to the reality of the story. You see, I believe that even if he had not, Ralphie would not have given up the dream. No, after a short period of disappointment Ralphie would have rekindled the dream and started his campaign for his next birthday. After all, he would be a year older then and certainly old enough for a "Genuine Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle."
Some years ago I unwittingly start a family tradition for our Christmases. It was based on the premise that all kids deserve a toy on Christmas and that everyone is a kid at heart. There were a number of people that I new through my recovery program that really had no family left and no place to go on Christmas Day. So, I made it a point to invite them to my house "if only for just a little while" and of course "they were welcome to stay for Christmas dinner."
I never knew who would actually show up since commitments were not high on these folks agendas. So before Christmas I would by up a number of small inexpensive fun toys: tops, yo-yo's, gyroscopes, Tonka trucks etc. I would wrap them up untagged, and stick them under the tree. On Christmas day when a few of the many I had asked would show up, I would randomly pull out one of these special presents announcing "see Santa knew you were coming and left a gift here for you." I have many cherished memories off the looks on toughened faces as they opened the gift and were truly thrilled at the small toy inside. Watching a couple of guys with tattoos and prison records having a ball pushing around Tonka trucks on the kitchen floor is one of the fondest Christmas memories I have.
It seems that much I have done in my life has been based on Ralphie's logic. There seems to have always been a sense that if I just do the necessary footwork, and wish it hard enough, stay true to the dream, cling to hope, then I will indeed get the "Genuine Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle" I'm wanting. This theory has matured over the ages to include a little more rational thinking, but in actuality, in many ways, it is still the root of how I view things like new jobs, moves, golf shots, work projects, new cars, a change in hair style, new clothes and any number of wants and desires that come up in my life. No matter what the cost, it is worth it!
Submitted by Anonymous
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