Whether you binge on festive movies, bake cookies, or sing Christmas carols together, every family has their own special holiday traditions. For my family, no matter what chaos Christmas Eve has brought upon us, we always gather to watch A Christmas Story.
Each year, my dad giggles to himself while Randy gobbles down his mashed potatoes like a pig, and we all recite, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” But as any fan of this classic film knows, the most iconic scene is when Ralphie and Randy’s dad announces he has received “a major award.”
Ah yes, the great, glimmering leg lamp.
Tom Gross of West Des Moines, Iowa knows a good holiday relic when he sees one. The A Christmas Story fanatic has built a 14-foot tall recreation of the leg lamp from the film and installed it right on his front lawn. According to Gross, the best part is the “‘Oh My Gosh’ looks … the quick braking and scrambling for the cell phone” as locals pass by his home.
When I asked Gross what inspired him to build the “major award,” he said, “It’s the most iconic image from one of the best Christmas movies ever.”
As a fan myself, I simply can’t argue with that logic.
Gross built the leg part of the lamp with “plywood ribs with fabric and a net stretched over it and a 1 1/4 inch EMT pole at the center,” adding “wood and PVC with fabric panels” to create the lampshade. I’ve seen a lot of holiday decor in my day, but nothing compares to this masterpiece.
Gross and his wife Tina usually travel for the holidays. “The real tradition is to take my wife Tina on a vacation — she prefers to be very warm,” Gross says, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting the leg lamp on display for over three years.
“The first time was in Illinois — it was destroyed in a wind storm on Christmas Eve. Broke right on cue just like the movie,” Gross recalls. “Then I made a new one in Iowa when I first moved here. The shade was disproportionate and it didn’t get too much attention. This one is just right.”
Practice makes perfect, and this leg lamp seems pretty flawless if you ask me. Happy Holidays to the Gross family, and if you’re visiting be careful of the lamp — it’s fra-gee-lay.
h/t: ABC News
For more festive fun, try transforming ornaments into holiday decor: