Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Bucket List: A Christmas Story House Museum

Before I get started, I just wanted to let you all know that I will be on Live in the D’s mom panel tomorrow, Wednesday, November 27th.  Please be sure to tune in to NBC at 11am!

The Christmas season is almost here!  It is one my favorite parts of the year - minus all the drama surrounding family get together, but that is a post for another time.

One way of keeping focused on joy and setting that warm, fuzzy holiday mood is watching Christmas movies.  I have watched some of my all-time favorites so many times that I have developed a deep, emotional connection to the characters and even the settings of these movies.

I would love to say, “Merry Christmas” to George Bailey as he runs through downtown Bedford Falls.

I would love to stand next to Clark Griswold in his front yard along side of Cousin Eddie as he successfully turns on all “250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights.”

I would love to rush down the stairs with Ralphie and Randy on Christmas morning and see Ralphie open his Red Rider BB gun.

So image my delight when last January I saw a commercial for small business software (I don’t even remember what it was now) and discovered that you could actually visit A Christmas Story house.  I googled it to make sure it was real, and then put it on the calendar for November and was reminded by this Rochester Mediapost.

Last weekend, my dream came true.   We packed up the kids and sojourned to Cleveland to see the house where the exterior shots were filmed.

As if this wasn’t awesome enough, the backstory is very touching.  Brian Jones always wanted to be a naval aviator, but failed the sight test.  Devastated, his parents sent him leg lamp to cheer him up.

Seeing how popular the lamps were, Brian made a business making and selling them on eBay.  When his wife emailed him that the house was for sale, he bought it sight unseen and never having visited Cleveland.

Fast forward to today, the house is remodeled to look just like the Parker house and is an interactive tribute to A Christmas Story. 

Here are some of the things we did.

You can pose with the Red Rider BB gun.  Doesn't Thomas look a little like Randy?

A Christmas Story House Red Rider BB Gun Mommy on the Spot
"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

You can take a photo with the blue bowling ball in your lap.

A Christmas Story House Blue Bowling Ball  Mommy on the Spot
Harrington made sure to do the squeaky voice.

You can look at the crate with the leg lamp.

A Christmas Story House Leg Lamp Crate Mommy on the Spot
"It's a Major Award!"

The bathroom is set up just like the movie with Lifebuoy soap, the hamper with Little Orphan Annie comic and decoder pin with a notepad that says, “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.”

"A crummy comercial?  Son of a bitch!"

We all sat under the sink like Randy.

A Christmas Story House Under the Sink Like Randy Mommy on the Spot
"Daddy's going to kill Ralphie!"

A Christmas Story House Under the Sink Like Randy Mommy on the Spot
That's right!  I fit under there!

And speaking of Randy, we saw his bib!

A Christmas Story House Randy's Bib  Mommy on the Spot
I wish I had a cute photo of Thomas in the bib, but he refused.

We saw the turkey baking in the oven.  

A Christmas Story House Turkey Dinner Mommy on the Spot
I was just waiting for the Bumpass Hounds to crash on in.

We saw Ralphie and Randy’s room.  

A Christmas Story House Ralphie and Randy's Bedroom Mommy on the Spot
I could almost hear Ralphie's mom yell, "Ralphie, on the double!"

And check out the decorations in their room.  

A Christmas Story House Oh Fudge Mommy on the Spot
I think this one speaks for itself.

I even pretended to call Mrs. Schwartz! I know the photo is blurry, but I couldn’t resist!

A Christmas Story House Calling Mrs. Schwartz Mommy on the Spot
"He didn't hear it from his father!  He heard it from your son!"

Afterwards, we went to the museum and saw some actual photos and costumes from the movie.  (My favorite was the Ralphie’s mom’s dress and bathrobe)!

Then we did some damage at the gift shop.  
A Christmas Story House Leg Lamp Salt and Pepper Shakers Mommy on the Spot
Leg Lamp salt and pepper shakers? Yes, please!

I’m so glad that we did this together as a family and had a great time!  The kids might have thought I was crazy since they don’t share the same affinity for A Christmas Story as me (not yet, at least), but I hope they have some warm, fuzzy memories. 

A Christmas Story House Family Photo Mommy on the Spot
So close to being our Christmas card photo.

Not only am I glad that we did this, but I am feeling inspired that someone took his passion and made a living from it. 

What a way to start off this holiday season!

**I was not compensated for this post.  This was just us on a family getaway and was so awesome I wanted to share.