Every Christmas Eve, we return from our family gathering and I turn on TBS to catch part of their 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story.” It’s become tradition.
I love this movie so much that my husband got me a small leg lamp for Christmas last year, but in Cleveland, I took it a step further and made a visit to the Christmas Story House and Museum where I gingerly held the “major award” in my hot little hands. After all, it is Fra-Geel-ay!
A $10 guided tour gave us some behind-the-scenes facts about this iconic movie. For instance, Cleveland was never actually being scouted as a possible location for the movie, but Higbee’s department store agreed to keep their Christmas decorations and Santa village up through Spring and that fit the bill for the movie scouts who then discovered this old house on a street in the Tremont district of Cleveland which was owned by a steel worker who was more than happy to let them use his house for a tidy sum of cash.
Most of the shots in Cleveland are exterior shots. In fact, when you go inside, you find that the layout of the house is nothing like the home you see in the movie. Actually, the house fell into disrepair until it was bought by a fan of the movie who rehabbed it and opened it for tours. The interior is decorated to look like the movie set, but nothing there is authentic. EXCEPT — the view out the front window. Whenever you see that angle in the movie, the shot was taken at the house in Cleveland.
It was fun just the same. We had the chance to peek behind the desk in the living room where the Red Rider B-B gun was hidden Christmas morning.
We got to tuck ourselves under the kitchen sink, which was roomy enough for adults, too.
You could go upstairs and see the Secret Decoder ring and Ovaltine message in the bathroom. There was even a bar of Lifebuoy soap. My daughter, the little Angel who’s never in trouble, wondered what soap tasted like, so…
She’s no fool. She didn’t actually put it in her mouth.
We learned lots of interesting facts about the movie, and thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Now, it’s Christmas Eve and I can watch the movie again, enjoying the fact that I was actually there! That was a Major Award in itself!