Ralphie is a nine-year old kid on a mission--a Christmas mission. All he wants on the big day is "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock." He has a plan. Red Ryder sales pitches cleverly slipped into his mother's Life magazines, casual hints at the dinner table, a Christmas theme entitled "What I want for Christmas" written for school with the hopes of receiving an A+++++++++; surely his parents will be persuaded. But after receiving a C+ on his Christmas theme containing a P.S. "You'll shoot your eye out", Ralphie seems to be thwarted every step of the way. He does have one hope though; he needs to get Santa Claus on his side.
As Ralphie desperately attempts to acquire a Red Ryder BB gun, we are endlessly entertained by the antics of those in his life. Since its introduction in 1983, A Christmas Story has taken its place with "A Christmas Carol," "Miracle on 34th Street," and "It's a Wonderful Life" as a classic holiday perennial.