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How many ‘A Christmas Story’ sequels are there?

'A Christmas Story' is a timeless classic, but how many sequels did it spawn?

The minute A Christmas Story Christmas, a fresh-faced sequel to holiday classic A Christmas Story, was released last year, the holiday extravaganza quickly set social media ablaze. As a result, the Christmas-loving masses excitedly shared their memories of the original movie and wondered how the sequel would compare.

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In the overall aftermath of the 2022 film’s release, the Clay Kaytis-directed flick failed to match the same hype and general intrigue as the ’80s classic. A divine effort was certainly attempted, of course, with OG star Peter Billingsley even making his long-awaited return as Ralphie Parker.

With that being said, some people might be confused, as this certainly wasn’t the first attempt to make a sequel or follow-up to A Christmas Story. And while these previous sequels have a confusing release history and canonicity, they’re still worth being examined with Christmas being just a few short days away.

What is A Christmas Story?

Released in 1983, A Christmas Story has become an ever-popular Christmas movie, with hundreds of families sitting down to watch it every year. Of course, that favored 24-hour marathon on TBS definitely helps. 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. The fantastic Christmas comedy is complete with a plethora of 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, many of which have been long forgotten. The first of these, The Phantom of the Open Hearth, was shown in 1976. This was eventually 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. 

Do you need to watch these sequels to enjoy A Christmas Story Christmas?

Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to watch A Christmas Story to understand the events that take place in A Christmas Story Christmas. Instead, the movie holds up well on its own two feet. And while watching the OG film isn’t a necessity, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a watch. Additionally, eagle-eyed viewers don’t need to have seen all the other related sequels, so that’s definitely an extra bonus.


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