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Holiday rituals around the country often include tuning in for the 1983 film A Christmas Story . Although it wasn’t a hit at the box office, the MGM feature has assumed its place alongside such holiday classics as Miracle on 34 th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life , thanks to an extended life on TV.
Many who bemoan the commercialism of Christmas consider the phenomenon to be a recent trend. In Indiana, however, corporate wrangling for holiday dollars goes back at least to the 1930s. A southern Indiana town has inspired entrepreneurs ever since town postmaster James Martin began promoting the Santa Claus, Indiana postmark in the 1920s.