Some 8,000 actors auditioned for the role of Ralphie; "He walked in, and he had us from the beginning," Clark later recalled of Peter Billingsley who was already a successful actor in commercials and from co-hosting the TV series Real People.
Clark initially wanted him for the role of Ralphie, but decided he was "too obvious" a choice and auditioned many other young actors before realizing that Billingsley was the right choice after all.
He lies to his mother that a falling icicle broke his glasses, and she believes him.
Ralphie is in bed on Christmas night with his gun by his side.
Although he does receive some presents he enjoys, Ralphie ultimately is disappointed that he did not receive the one thing he wanted more than anything.
After it appears all of the presents have been opened, Ralphie's father, "The Old Man," directs Ralphie to look at one last present that he had hidden.
Shepherd provides the film's narration from the perspective of an adult Ralphie, a narrative style later used in the dramedy television series The Wonder Years.
Tedde Moore had previously appeared in Clark's film Murder by Decree and was the only onscreen character from A Christmas Story who was played by the same actor in the sequel, My Summer Story.
Jeff Gillen was an old friend of Clark's who had been in one of his earliest films.
The schoolyard bully, Scut Farkus, was played by Zack Ward, now an actor, writer and director, who had actually been bullied himself while in elementary school.
A seasonal classic in North America, it is shown numerous times on television, usually on the networks owned by the Turner Broadcasting System.
Since 1997, a marathon of the film titled "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" has aired annually on TNT and/or TBS, comprising twelve consecutive airings of the film on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year. It earned two Canadian Genie Awards in 1984 and in 2012 was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Other local references include mention of a person "swallowing a yo-yo" in nearby Griffith, the Old Man being one of the fiercest "furnace fighters in northern Indiana" and that his obscenities were "hanging in space over Lake Michigan," a mention of the Indianapolis 500, and the line to Santa Claus "stretching all the way to Terre Haute, Indiana." The Old Man is also revealed to be a fan of the Bears (whom he jokingly calls the "Chicago Chipmunks") and White Sox, consistent with living in northwest Indiana.