How Many ‘A Christmas Story’ Sequels Are There?

The announcement of A Christmas Story: Christmasa new sequel to holiday-classic A Christmas Storyhas set social media ablaze, with many people excitedly talking about their memories of the original movie and wondering what this new sequel might bring.

However, some people may be confused as this isn’t the first attempt to make a sequel or follow-up to A Christmas Story. But these previous sequels have a confusing release history and canonicity. 

Here is everything you need to know.

What is A Christmas Story?

Released in 1983, A Christmas Story has become a popular Christmas movie, with hundreds of families sitting down to watch it every year. Based on the books by Jean Shepherd, specifically In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, the film is a semi-fictionalized retelling of stories from Shepherd’s childhood in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

A Christmas Story sees a grown-up Ralphie Parker reminiscing about a particularly chaotic Christmas season he and his folks endured when he was a young boy. Complete with many funny moments and a lot of growth for the young Ralphie. 

Are there sequels to A Christmas Story?

A Christmas Story isn’t actually the first time Jean Shepherd’s Parker Family stories had been adapted for the screen. It was first turned into a series of made-for-TV movies. The first of these, The Phantom of the Open Hearth, was shown in 1976. This was followed by The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters in 1982. 

The release of A Christmas Story in 1983 didn’t stop these made-for-TV movies; the first follow-up to the film was 1985’s The Star-Crossed Romance of Josephine Cosnowski, a made-for-TV movie broadcast as part of PBS’ American Playhouse series. This was followed in 1988 by Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss, a made-for-TV film that tells the story of the Parker clan’s chaotic summer. 

In 1994, another sequel was released, but this one made it to theaters. Called It Runs in the Family, the film doesn’t feature most of the original cast, with only Tedde Moore and Jean Shepherd remaining. This film was based on the other stories found In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and follow the Parkers during the summer that follows the Christmas from A Christmas Story. The film was reviewed well. But it didn’t grab the public’s attention. Making things more confusing, when this film was released on home media and shown on television, it was renamed My Summer Story to make the links to A Christmas Story more obvious. 

In 2012, a direct-to-video movie called A Christmas Story 2 was released. This film was advertised as a direct sequel to the first movie. However, it ignores the made-for-TV movies and My Summer Story. Set six years after the original film, it follows a teenage Ralphie as he tries to raise money to fix his car. However, the film did terribly with critics and the public, leading to it being forgotten today. 

Will you need to watch these sequels to enjoy A Christmas Story: Christmas?

While little is known about the plot of A Christmas Story: Christmas at the current time, it seems unlikely that the filmmakers will require viewers to learn about these other sequels. All the sequels are very hard to find today, and My Summer Story and A Christmas Story 2 contradict each other heavily, meaning that working out a canon would be near impossible.