Day 9 of Christmas Nightlight Readings: In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash
Every morning on Christmas Day, we wake up in our house to a brightly lit Christmas tree, Christmas music on the stereo, and "A Christmas Story" playing quietly on the television. TBS has begun a tradition in almost every household of 24 hours of "A Christmas Story." And every year we watch as Ralphie comes down the stairs dressed in a ridiculous pink bunny outfit, nearly "shoots his eye out," and the turkey gets eaten by the Bumpuse's hillbilly dogs. In our house we continuously quote the movie: "I can't put my arms down," "It says 'fra-gi-le. It must be French!" "Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf, I hate meatloaf," "You'll shoot your eye out, kid," "That's mine. OOo, that's mine! Ooo, a firetruck! That's mine."
We all know the movie, but we all know the book it is adapted from. Like most movies, there is some truth behind the fiction. Written by Jean Shepherd in 1966, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, the short stories are set around the small Indian town during the Christmas season. Based on the true childhood of Shepherd, he too hoped for a Red Ryder BB Gun.
“To study history is to study the motives, the opinions, and the passions of men in order to know all the successes, the initiatives and the detours, and finally all the illusions that they make known to the mind and the surprises that they make the heart feel. In a word, it is to learn to known oneself in others.”—Jean Mabillon, 15th c. Benedictine scholar.