Ralphie Parker wanted just one thing for Christmas:

"An official Red Ryder, carbine-action, two-hundred-shot, range-model air rifle."

Fans of the perennial Yuletide favorite “A Christmas Story” know the plot like the back of their hand. Many even recite the lines from memory.

Of course, Ralphie's quest is repeatedly met with a warning and a charge:

"You'll shoot your eye out!"

If you ask me, the film works and has aged so well because it taps into the spirit and desires of boyhood. Times change, but for generations, boys have been drawn to adventure, which often includes toy guns, whether cap, Nerf, water or BB.

This is a good thing.

Of course, it should go without saying that one of the hallmarks of true masculinity is the safe, responsible and appropriate use of any weapon - toy or not.

So when my friend Ray Hobbs, president of the Daisy company in Rogers, Arkansas, invited our entire family to his factory to make and shoot a few weeks ago, we enthusiastically accepted.

In fact, we captured the experience on a hand-held camera, and I'd like to share it with you below.

(To watch the video from a browser, click here.)

(To watch the video from a mobile device, click here.)

I have the greatest respect and admiration for Ray and his talented team. They were so kind and gracious to host us, and we're grateful for their hospitality.

I'd be remiss in not mentioning that “A Christmas Story,” while nostalgic and very funny, is a bit gritty in spots when it comes to language and a few other references. We've always watched it on Clearplay, which cleans it up nicely. The movie itself is based upon a true story in a book by the late Jean Shepherd titled, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.” Jean was a beloved radio host and storyteller on WOR Radio in the 1960s and 1970s. His warm and homespun voice can be heard narrating the actual film.

Do you have a favorite line or character from the movie?


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