Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009 - "Not a finga!"

Could there be a more famous lamp associated with Christmas than "The Christmas Story Leg Lamp?" My family discovered this movie in the mid-eighties and it's become a "tradition" of sorts that we watch the movie at least once a year, if not more. Because who can miss the many reruns on TV during the holiday season. It must be up there with "It's a Wonderful Life." And I wouldn't be "The Lamp Guy" if I didn't do a post about the famous Leg lamp during the holiday season.

First of all, you can find everything you ever wanted to know about the Leg Lamp at the official "A Christmas Story House" web site. Yes, someone has bought the house, which is actually in Cleveland, and turned it into a tourist destination along with a museum and gift shot across the street. You've got to go if you happen to be in Cleveland during the holidays. Perhaps you've wondered, was this a real lamp or just something the author made up. Answer: It was made up. Jean Shepard, the author, was inspired by an old Nehi Soda advertisement (shown below). It seems Reuben Freed, the production designer on the film, created the lamp with very little to go on but he seems to have pleased Mr. Shepard with only a few sketches. Three lamps were created for the movie but alas none of them survived the production. If you look closely during the scenes where the lamp is broken you'll notice that the lamp is actually broken in two different ways, depending on which scene you're watching. In one the lamp is broken into chunks, in another it's split lengthwise.

Fear not, you too can own any one of five different sizes of Leg Lamps, the full size 50" inch, a slightly smaller 45" (on sale now), a 26" and 20" desktop lamp, and an 8" night light. But that's not all, you can find replicas of almost all the props at A Christmas Story Gift Shop. There's the bunny outfit, Randy's stocking cap, Flick's aviator cap, and the crowning touch, a limited edition "Red Rider Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and that thing which tells time." And if you really want to splurge, you can buy the immense wooden crate for the lamp, sold separately. I'm actually tempted by the sale for the 45 inch lamp. What a lovely prop to bring out every Christmas and put in my studio (family and friends take note of this amazing gift idea but I can do without the crate. And you'd better check with me in case I decided to get on already).

And in a Google search I also came across this lovely "Leg Lamp" Costume, an idea for those truly obsessed. Here's hoping your holiday season is full of joy and that you always get a great parking spot at the mall, if you really have to go there. m

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