5 Scene-Stealing Holiday Movie Moments Thanks to Eyesight

Holiday movies incorporate the same elements as their regular counterparts. Dramatic choices. Love connections. Hilarious punchlines. Rewatch a few December classics, and you might notice a theme: some critical characters are living with visual impairments. Let’s take a closer look.

Photo shows the DVD cover of A Christmas Story. The title is in red script tilted up on the top half while Peter Billingsly as Ralphie grins widely and wears glasses on the bottom half. Background is a christmas tree decorated with gold balls.Movie: A Christmas Story

Character: Flick? No, when his tongue sticks to the flag pole, those are goggles on his aviator cap. Faked you out. It’s Ralphie Parker.

Pivotal scene: Walking alone, Ralphie takes a snowball to the face. The icy mix thrown by the neighborhood bully cakes his glasses. Ralphie’s had enough of this twerp. I can’t condone violence, but I understand the frustration and desire to act while emotional. The nearsighted boy drops his glasses and tackles the bully. Ralphie sits on him, yelling and slapping wildly, mittens-on-a- string flying around with each hit. A true blind rage. His little brother carefully retrieves the forgotten glasses and runs for help. I gotta say, those abandoned glasses, symbolic of reason and order, make the scene.

Photo shows DVD cover from Elf which has Will Ferrell with his hands on his hips dressed in white fur trimmed green elf coat, green and yellow striped pointy hat, yellow tights and green curled toe shoes. He forms the L in elf that is written otherwise in green in bottom half of image. Behind him is a blue and white skyline of NYC and snow is on the ground.Movie: Elf

Character: Buddy

Scene: Buddy shares a nice dinner with his newfound family. He explains the elfin food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. He sees sweets and can’t say no. But, his rocking blood glucose levels from his poor diet puts him at risk for diabetes and its consequences. If he doesn’t act fast, he’s going to be finding elegant gifts and diabetic retinopathy under the tree. Yikes.

Photo shows DVD cover of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation whic depics Clark Griswold wrapped in lit lights dressed as Santa above a roof with the night sky behind him as electricity surges through him and his mouth is wide open. Red horizontal bars edge the scene.Movie: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Character: Clark Griswold

Scene: No, it’s not the famous scene of him rigging up the Christmas lights, stapling line after line to cover his entire house, then causing temporary blindness in his neighbors when the lights shine with an intense glare. He’s unaffected. How about when he changes lanes on the highway? He may be distracted by aggressive hillbillies in the pick-up truck, but who can’t see a semi in the mirrors? Clark’s sweet blind spot leads to a ridiculous roadway moment. The family’s station wagon dips under a logging truck–right between its massive tires–escaping only with a quick flick of the steering wheel, and then another jerk of the wheel to avoid a snow plow. Remember, the journey culminating with the car sailing off-road over a snow bank is made possible by Clark’s loss of acuity. Before he does more damage, get this man to an eye doctor.

Photo shows the DVD cover of a Year without a santa claus depicting Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh pulled by his reindeer while Mr. Heatmiser and Mr. Snow Miser deuling on clouds behind him with the North Pole sign below.Movie: The Year Without a Santa Claus

Character: Santa Claus

Scene: It’s more than a scene. It’s the hidden catalyst of the movie. Santa’s not going on vacation; he’s taking time to cope with vision loss. Multiple pieces of evidence make the argument for Santa’s visual impairment. First, he sports spectacles on Christmas Eve morning. But we already covered nearsightedness with Ralphie, so it’s not that. Second, Santa isn’t producing in his workshop, it’s all the elves all the time making those fine toys. Finally, reindeer power the sled which is led by a retina-friendly red light, not Santa. Ho, ho, on no. After years at the North Pole absorbing sunlight reflected off the snow without eye protection, it was only a matter of time. Macular degeneration caught up with Father Christmas. I rest my case.

Photo shows the DVD cover of Home Alone which depicts Kevin McAllister with his hands on either side of his face while he screams in the foreground as two bandits lurk in front of his snow covered house and Home Alone is written in red at the top.Movie: Home Alone

Character: Little Nero’s pizza delivery guy

Scene:  Alright. Anytime this dude arrives at the stately McAllister residence, he seems to be in a hurry. So much so, his bumper knocks over a metal statue out front. Clank, thud. Decades before driving while texting existed, this guy reps distracted driving. Or is it something more? I don’t think he’s a teenager taking advantage of his first set of wheels on the open, icy suburban Chicago streets. What we’ve got here is a depth perception problem with possible night blindness. Early stage retinitis pigmentosa, anyone? I think so.

On that silly note, what are your favorite holiday movies? Is there a character who always makes you laugh or you can’t forget? What movie do you watch this time of year to escape the holiday rush? Tell me about it.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steph McCoy says:

    Excellent choices Susan. My all-time favorite is the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Every time I watch it I’m in stitches and I feel so bad for poor little Max, he’s such a cute little dog. When he ends up on the back of the sleigh because he thinks he’s going for a ride I lose it.

    1. It’s been awhile since I watched it, but I love the animated grinch movie. You are so right about the dog.

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