Christmas loopholes

Crest Theatre

1013 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 476-3356

Guild Theatre

2828 35th St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

(916) 732-4673

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Christmas. That meant no tree decorating, no presents, no singing yuletide songs and, especially, no watching movies about the holiday.

As with all rules, however, there was a loophole: A Christmas Story. My family never purchased the movie, but my sisters and I were allowed to watch the TV version on Christmas Eve. I have no clue why we were allowed to watch A Christmas Story when we were forbidden to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. I think my parents just really liked it, as they should. It’s a freaking awesome Christmas movie. It has grade-school villains, tongue-freezing humor and the infamous Red Ryder BB gun. It’s a classic and, now that my family does celebrate Christmas, a ready-made Christmas Eve tradition. This year, however, I plan on breaking tradition—just a bit—by watching A Christmas Story on the big screen a week early. The screening at Crest Theatre also will include homemade Christmas cookies, cider and an appearance by Santa—massive slide not included.

For more of a break in Christmas tradition, Movies on a Big Screen will show Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at the Guild Theater. It’s similar to MOBS’ annual showing of Santa vs. Satan (which will show December 27), but not as creepy. OK, it’s a bit creepy, crappy and just plain weird. The Martians have robust ’60s-era mustaches and wear TV antennae on their heads, and Santa doesn’t go kung fu on Martian ass as the title implies. But he does bestow Christmas cheer on Earth’s unhappy neighbors, and there is a ton of forced laughing—just like the real Christmas.