Nate Richard’s review published on Letterboxd:
I had zero expectations for A Christmas Story Christmas.
As someone who holds the original film near and dear to their heart, I was extremely skeptical about this film when it was first announced. Not only did we get that god-awful direct-to-DVD sequel just a mere 10 years ago, but just last year, another Christmas sequel, Home Sweet Home Alone, made me question why we ever need to revisit these classics.
What's the point?
But thank god A Christmas Story Christmas is a delight. It's full of so much heart and it just feels like a warm hug. It doesn't feel like some cynical IP-grab, nor is it trying to recreate the first film beat-for-beat, yet it is still able to recapture the same atmosphere as the 1983 movie. I can't say every joke here worked, but I also can't say I ever rolled my eyes.
Some of the edginess from its predecessor is gone, but there are still hints of it, and what it lacks in that, it makes up for in heart. It's honestly really nice to see Peter Billingsley back as Ralphie and seemingly have the time of his life. Also, Erinn Hayes is just delightful here as well and fits perfectly alongside these characters we've come to know and love.
Is this movie the next Christmas classic; probably not? I also wouldn't go as far as to say that this would've been a movie I wished I saw in the theater. I feel like most of us watched the original for the first time at home, and HBO Max seems like the perfect place to debut this one.