Wondering if A Christmas Story is ok for kids? A Christmas Story is rated PG for some language and mild violence sprinkled with some racism. Is A Christmas Story kid friendly? Well not really. Here’s what parents need to know in this A Christmas Story Parents Guide.
A Christmas Story Parents Guide
Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother’s immediate reaction is that he’ll shoot his eye out. He then writes an amazing essay for school on what he wants for Christmas and his teacher agrees with his teacher! Even Santa doesn’t seem to be on his side. All he wants is his BB gun, but it doesn’t seem like anyone will get it for him.
A Christmas Story used to be a family favorite in our home. Set in the 1940s, it’s nostalgic, witty, but it’s also problematic for current standards.
A Christmas Story Age Rating
A Christmas Story is rated PG for brief mild violence, language, and some bullying, which means some content may not be suitable for all children.
Language in A Christmas Story
There is some language including damn, a**, son of a bit*h, and hell. There are also words of Deity used.
One scene shows a kid saying “oh fudge” but he really has said the f-word. You don’t hear that word used.
A character uses profanity but it is bleeped out.
Some characters drink alcohol, smoke cigars, and spit out tobacco.
There is some bullying in the movie and two characters get in a fist-fight, with one resulting in a nose bleed.
A character receives a lamp in the shape of a leg. It is described by the narrator as “electric sex gleaming in the window.”
A woman is heard screaming at her child over the phone with sounds that imply she is spanking him hard.
The family goes to Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant where the waiters sing “Deck the Halls” and sing the lyrics, “Fa ra ra ra ra” due to their accents.
Is A Christmas Story Appropriate for Kids Under 10?
On the surface, A Christmas Story is family friendly with a story about a kid wanting something really badly for Christmas. Hijinks ensue, Ralphie’s brother can’t move his arms, dogs eat the turkey, boys try to avoid a class bully, and Ralphie’s aunt buys him a pink bunny outfit. Oh and that lamp, who can forget f-r-a-g-i-l-e?
I used to laugh and laugh and watch it every Christmas Eve when it came on TBS for 24 hours of A Christmas Story. And at the heart of it, do I think it intended to be a racist portrayal of Chinese people? No. However, I should have known better than to laugh and also sing the lyrics incorrectly. It’s all in good fun, right? It is until it isn’t.
I read this article on Romper, and I felt really bad. Of course, there will be those defending it as harmless and people should lighten up. Those same people are also those who probably have been in the majority most of their lives. This isn’t A Christmas Story boycott, but a “hey parents, you should be aware of this.” It’s up to you how you handle it in your home.
There is plenty to laugh about, and you can’t help but sympathize with Ralphie’s Christmas plight. However, now we’ll fast forward the entire restaurant scene or I’ll have a discussion about it with my children, and how we can change words and actions.
Because honestly, you’ll find other topics of conversation and inappropriate content for kids in other Christmas “classics” like Elf and Christmas Vacation. You don’t have to cancel them, but you can use them as lessons and start the conversation.