by Linda Holmes
When you think "fan convention," you probably think three things: (1) Spock ears; (2) Princess Leia hair; and (3) that you are rapidly getting hives.
Fan gatherings have a bad reputation for being full of costumed oddballs who are not to be trusted, but now and then, one comes along that's just downright heartwarming. The latest entry is a post-Thanksgiving gathering in Cleveland for fans of A Christmas Story, the 1983 adaptation of Jean Shepherd's tales of his childhood.
Neither a hit nor a bomb when it showed in theaters 25 years ago, the movie later became one of pop-culture's most durable holiday traditions, particularly when it started running on cable in a 24-hour Christmas-day marathon, a pattern that started in 1997. "You'll shoot your eye out." The leg lamp. Ovaltine. For many people, these things are as much a part of Christmas as mistletoe and Santa.
I've been meaning to go to the museum for ages — since it opened, basically — but haven't yet. (I think I mentioned this to someone when I was in DC the other week, and they're like, What's stopping you? Me: It's all the way across town!) What better time to go than during the anniversary celebration?
I'm going to be in Akron for most of that weekend, but I have to be in Lakewood on Friday anyways. I suppose I could detour downtown to watch the movie on the big screen and check out the documentary. . . . But it sounds as though a bunch of cool stuff happens on Saturday, too. Hmm.
And I don't know who I could drag with me. My mom and sister would think it's amusing, but not funny enough to drive to Cleveland for. Plus, my sister probably has to work. And my dad apparently hates that movie, which is why I insist on watching the 24 Hours of A Christmas Story every year at his house. Yeah, I'm such a rebel . . .
Now playing on iTunes: The Andrews Sisters - Jingle Bells