Monday, December 17, 2007

It's A Major Award!

Romie's favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story. You know the one-

"You'll shoot your eye out!"

I like it too, and we watch it several times during the Christmas season. We've even been known to pop it in the DVD player in July. One of us loves it so much that they laugh out loud while watching it, no matter how many times we've seen it. So the other one of us thought it might be fun to give the laughing one a very special Christmas gift one year.

Ebay is a great place to find obscure items. Let's say that someone needed a mannequin leg. Or one fishnet stocking. Perhaps a black patent leather stiletto pump. Ebay's your one-stop shopping place!

Now a leg, a stocking, and a shoe do not a leg lamp make. So it helps if you know someone that is pretty handy with a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver, and a little knowledge of electrical wiring. I happen to know someone like that very well and he was more than happy to help with The Leg Lamp Project.

Mom even got in on the act by helping glue the trim on the lamp shade, which I found at Walmart.

There was sanding, staining, lacquering, wiring and assembling to do, and while I assisted my dad, he deserves the credit for actually making the lamp look like the movie version.

If this leg lamp was to be delivered properly, it needed a crate. No leg lamp worth its salt comes without a crate stamped with the word "FRAGILE." So I drove to Middle Point to the pallet manufacturing business there to see if they had any scraps that I could purchase to make the crate.

I explained what I needed and what they were for, and in the course of our conversation, the manager and I found out we grew up in and near the same hometown, which was not all that far away, although at different times. He asked me what length I needed the boards to be and when I returned to pick them up a few days later, I traded him some chocolate chip cookies for the custom-cut boards, because he wouldn't let me pay him a thing. "It's just scrap anyway," he told me. I love small town life!

Dad put the crate together and I spray painted the words on the outside. Now the leg lamp package was complete.

Christmas morning came, and as usual, the entire family was at our house for breakfast and the unwrapping of gifts with our girls. As we were eating our green eggs and ham, the doorbell rang. Romie answered ...

"Fra-gee-lay! It must be Italian!"


A Christmas Story was released during the holiday season in 1983 and has become a beloved American classic. Set in 1940s Indiana, it's the story of Ralphie and his family as they live life and celebrate Christmas, and is based on Jean Shepherd's book, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.

It made a decent showing at the box office, but not great. It became part of a purchase agreement between MGM and Warner Brothers and in 1988, the first 24-hour
A Christmas Story marathon was aired on TNT, starting Christmas Eve. It has been a recurring event ever since, in recent years moving to TBS.

In Cleveland, Ohio, A Christmas Story House is open to the public, a faithful reproduction of the Parker family home featured in the movie. Across the street is A Christmas Story Museum. Both are open year round, Thursdays through Sundays, and Wednesdays during the Christmas season. More information here !


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Now this was A GREAT Christmas Story.

Carol Michel said...

My mom loves that movie! Shoot, so do I. You ought to make more of those "Fra-gee-lay" lamps. You could make a fortune! That's a great gift!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

A wildlife gardener said...

That was a fun thing to make! I really had good fun reading about the stages of the improvisation to make the lamp.

Had a trawl through your blog and love Max and Jilly too...real, cool cats:)

Mamma Sarah said...

Great Story!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I saw the title to the post and started to laugh... then I saw the first photo and really giggled. A Christmas Story is Hubby's favorite Christmas movie. We watch it (often more than once) on Christmas day. I emailed this post to him. He will be so envious of Romie's leg lamp. For this post, you get an A++++++++++++++++++++++
Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Muum said...

My DH loves this movie, too. Don't forget the neighbor's dogs dragging off the turkey! great idea for a gift!

Jessica said...

omg, I think almost everyone has a soft spot in their heart for this movie:) Thanks for the laugh!! The first picture caught me off guard and I laughed out loud (much to the confusion of my nearby co-workers..haha).

Anonymous said...

I love that! I see someone caught on and is now marketing these lamps. They probably cost a whole lot more than yours did. What a fun gift!

Wicked Gardener said...

Now that is a Christmas Craft I can get behind!!! Too funny!

kate smudges said...


That was a great gift - I enjoyed reading about how it came together, from leg to crate and onto delivery. You are an amazing person - I like how you enlisted help.

Enjoy A Christmas Story again this year!

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