The funniest thing about Christmas, according to Jean Shepherd's over-the-top holiday comedy, is spending it with your own family. In 1940s Indiana, Ralphie's dad, lovingly referred to as "the Old Man," wins a "Major Award" by answering a crossword puzzle. The award turns out to be "the most hideous lamp" ever imagined. Nevertheless, the Old Man takes great pride in his accomplishment and, much to his wife's embarrassment, places his award in the picture window for all Indiana to see!
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