Case in point with this week's scene*. Ralphie and his little brother are at the mall to visit "Santa". After making it through an incredibly long line, Ralphie gets to Santa's lap but...freezes. Have a look.
I don't remember seeing any mall Santas growing up and it's probably just as well. How about that trippy first person part of the scene where Santa looks like a mass murderer? I also love the way Ralphie just goes blank and goes for that football (even though he forgets what it is). He snaps back to reality as he's sliding down the exit chute but to no avail - "Santa" tells him he'll shoot his eye out - and shoves his boot in Ralphie's face.
My absolute favorite aspect of this scene - and really the whole movie - is Darren McGavin as Ralphie's dad. He's that classic 1940s dad that really doesn't exist anymore. Hard working, cantankerous, but really just worried about his family. Apparently Jack Nicholson was interested in playing the role of Mr. Parker but they wound up going with McGavin.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everybody! AVOID MALL SANTAS.
*I couldn't really pick the flagpole scene because I'd have to talk about how that kid grew up to become a porn star. Yikes.