The family sat down this evening to watch the incomparable A Christmas Story. Anyone who is anyone knows the film by now. Little Ralphie is on a quest to acquire what he wants for Christmas: an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
The quest seems all but lost until at the last minute. It is Ralphie’s father who gives his son what he longed for the most that Christmas season.
The lengths that Ralphie goes to in order to get his beloved B.B. gun are certainly comical. But its in his longing for the Red Ryder that I was reminded of a great truth. The truth is this: we all long for something. We all ‘want something’ that we hope will bring us happiness and satisfaction. At Christmas time this is played out in the giving (and longing!) for gifts.
But as we all learn (and I’m sure Ralphie learns it too…) is that our longings, when they are acquired…while they may bring immediate and short-term happiness—they never fully pay off. In other words, the good gifts we give and receive don’t fully satisfy. And why? Because these good gifts aren’t the ultimate gift and they were never meant to fully satisfy.
The only gift that is truly the ultimate gift is the gift that was given by our father 2,000 years ago when Christ the child was born.
The following clip is a compilation that demonstrates Ralphie’s quest in obtaining his rifle: