Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that both kids and adults use and discuss strong language ("ass," "son of a bitch"), and one famous scene involves young Ralphie using the "F" word (though movie viewers hear the word "fudge"). In one scene, the main character is punished for swearing by having his mouth washed out with soap. He's also bullied and beats up his nemesis, then cries afterward. One child sticks his tongue on a flagpole on a dare and needs the fire department to unstick him.
Ralphie's dad wins a lamp shaped like a woman's leg. Ralphie calls it the "soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window" and continues to run his hand up the leg when his mother's not watching.
It's mostly yelling and arm-twisting when two bullies harass kids daily, though Ralphie's friend does come to class with a black eye after one altercation. Ralphie punches one bully until he gets a bloody nose. A dream sequence shows Ralphie with his prized BB gun shooting and killing four comical bandits. A kid touches an icy metal pole with his tongue on a dare and it freezes to the pole.
Some language used by both adults and children, including "ass," "son of a bitch," "hell," "hot damn," and insults like "idiot," "dumb," etc. Lots of discussion about the use of profanity, by Ralphie's father who constantly swears while fixing the heater, but especially when Ralphie lets the "F" word slip in front of his dad, which is heard by the audience as "fudge." He's punished with a mouthful of soap.
Underneath some ironic and satirical humor, this is a warm story about a 1930s/'40s family. It's a refreshing look at a less-than-perfect holiday experience and the unexpected joy that can be found when things don't go as planned. Family and friendship are both valued.
Main character is obsessed with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Mentions of other brands, some still available (Ovaltine) some not (Look magazine). And the infamous leg lamp is now a hot item at Christmastime.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Ralphie's parents drink wine after opening presents and his dad offers him a sip -- Mom turns it down for him.