‘A Christmas Story Christmas’ Ending Explained: Why Does Ralph Go Back to His Home Town?

Welcome to the Ending Explained for A Christmas Story Christmas. The film is the sequel to the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story. This sequel is one of the so-called legacy sequels, when after many years the story continues by even bringing a lot of the same actors as in the original. In this case, Peter Billingsley reprises his role as Ralph Parker. However, this time in the form of an adult, and father of two, who will try to give his kids the best Christmas they can have. Even when issue after issue seems to be pilling on top of him at every minute.

The film tells a very classic Christmas story where family and the spirit of the season are more important than the presence and the money. The film sets the story thirty years after the events of A Christmas Story, and yet, the setting of the movie doesn’t appear to have moved on from the time the first film took place. This is a simple, small movie that is trying to connect with an audience that might have moved on from the original. But no matter if you like the original or not, this one might be pushing its luck in trying to recapture the magic of the first one.

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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for A Christmas Story Christmas. Read at your own risk.

Why Does Ralph Go Back To His Hometown?

The film starts by introducing us to Ralph Parker, the protagonist of the original film, now an adult. Thirty years have passed since the events of the first film, and Ralph is now a father of two kids, Mark and Julie. He is also married to a beautiful and devoted wife named, Sandy. The four together make for an excellent-looking family, and there seems to be a lot of love between them. However, there seems to be an issue that is putting a lot of pressure on Ralph, as a father, and as a man.

You see, Ralph believes his true calling is that of being a writer. His wife believes he is a good writer, and Ralph pours his passion into the project. He has a novel already written, and it is his dream to become a full-time writer. He has stopped going to work, and he has given himself a deadline in order to achieve his dream. Right now, the deadline is the end of the year. If Ralph doesn’t manage to become a writer by the end of the year, he will forget his dream and go back to work again.

In one last desperate effort to become a writer, he sent his novel to 16 publishers, and by the moment the movie starts, at least 14 of them have said no. Ralph’s novel is quite ambitious, and the draft he has sent to the publishers is more than 2,000 pages long. Which is insane. However, Ralph doesn’t understand that no publisher would accept a draft of that size coming from an unknown, and untested writer. Sandy tells him that he is a good writer, but that maybe he should write something different, something more relatable and shorter. Something that can actually be published.

Ralph becomes annoyed by the idea and dismisses it. However, before the story can continue through this plot line, something happens. Ralph receives a call from his mother telling him that his father has died. This hits Ralph like a truck. In the first movie, Ralph’s dad was a pillar of the community and a very wholesome character. Sadly, he wasn’t able to come back for this movie.

Does Ralph Manage To Publish His Novel?

Ralph goes back to town and meets with his mother, who is clearly sad now that she is alone in the house. His mother supports Ralph in what he wants to do, but she also wants him to wake up and maybe realize that he should take a different road. Ralph visits the town, and several of his old friends from the first movie appear in this one. It is very nostalgic, and for those who remember the first film clearly, it is a nice trip down memory lane.

Ralph wants to have the perfect Christmas for himself and his kids and tries to do the best he can, but his efforts come off as entitlement and more like a man-child trying to recover what he lost from Christmas. He is also getting on everyone’s nerves as he waits for a call from either of the two publishers that still haven’t said no to his novel. The call doesn’t come. Things become worse when they are robbed, and without money, there are probably not going to be presents for the kids this Christmas.

Christmas night arrives, and everybody is down. The Christmas spirit is missing. Ralph tries to get a star for the Christmas tree, as there can’t be a tree without a star on Christmas. He doesn’t have money, and everything is closed, so he decided to go inside his friend’s bar and take the star from their tree, borrowed. He is captured in the middle of it by a police officer who is none other than Scut Farkus, Ralph’s childhood bully. However, Scut thanks Ralph for having kicked his ass when they were kids. Now, Scut is one of the good guys.

Ralph comes back home with the star and writes an obituary for his dead father. His wife sends the story to the paper, and it gets published, much to Ralph’s surprise. On top of that, it is revealed that Ralph’s father had presents planned for delivery that Christmas morning, so the kids and everyone else end up having presents for Christmas. Ralph’s dream also ends up coming true when the editor of the paper asks if he has more stories to publish. In the end, Ralph reads the story about his dad to his family as the credits roll.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.