Saturday, November 22, 2008

It must be Christmas, the Leg Lamp has returned

One of my all time favorite movies is "The Christmas Story." One of the sub plots in the movie involves the Dad and the arrival of the "major award" he won. It arrives in a beastly sized wooden crate and he excitedly but carefully opens the crate and unpacks the items to see what he has won. The Dad discovers he has won a lamp. But not just any lamp. To him, this lamp is a thing of beauty, a masterful work of art that proudly needs to be displayed in the front window for every passerby to behold. To Mom, she sees nothing more than a ticky-tacky lighted leg with a fringe trimmed shade that would do better sitting on top of a trash pile at the city dump than on her living room table.

I tell you this story to bring you back in time with me to Christmas six years ago. My Mom, being ever the impulsive shopper , decided to pull over and purchase some Christmas gifts from a van turned into a makeshift roadside stand. Most of the year that "stand" sells turtles and hermit crabs with airbrushed decorated shells that are guaranteed to teach your child about The Circle of Life within two weeks. They might even throw in the Ziploc baggies and shoe box for your back yard burial for free if you ask them.

But a month out of every year they sell something else. They sell a Christmas decoration. My Mom saw these decorations and decided all the kids in the family needed one. That Christmas rolls around and my gift is unveiled as I pull it out from a kitchen trash bag. What Bill saw when I opened this gift was a thing of beauty. He saw superior skilled craftsmanship of a perfectly geometrical orb and entrancing multi-color lights dancing in symmetry and precision. He was in awe and immediately plugged it in to find just the right setting to showcase the work of art.

What I saw when I opened the gift was a couple of clear Dixie cups cobbled together with a dollar store string of Christmas lights. While I could appreciate the work that went into making the piece, I couldn't get past the fact that it was still just Dixie cups glued together. I smiled at my Mom and thanked her for the gift and made a mental note to drop it off at the first Goodwill drop off point I passed going home.

But it never made it to Goodwill. Bill overrode me. He made a spot for the piece in the front window the moment we walked through the door. He futzed with the angle, the height, and the light settings. He turned it on and walked out to the street to see how it looked from a passersby eye. I think he was prouder of that light than his first car.

This Dixie cup art has become known amongst all of our friends and family as simply, "The Leg Lamp." Six years later, Bill has once again pulled out The Leg Lamp and put it on display in the front window just as he has every other year. He futzed with the settings, adjusted the angle, and stood out in the street to see how it looked to passersby. But rather than wanting to destroy it in a furious dusting accident (yeah right, who would believe that one from me?), I just smile and go with it knowing the holiday season has officially begun and Christmas will be right around the corner.



22 comments:

Mel said...

OH that is a blast from the past! I had one of those somebody gave me for my first apartment 12 years ago. Boyfriend (now hubby) and I called it "The Orb of Knowledge" (from a college recruitment Star Trek skit I had been in). I have no idea what happened to that thing. Perhaps conveniently lost in a move.

Sandi said...

Wow! That's one interesting, err...lamp? It's pretty and the memories about what it represents are what count the most. I actually saw the infamous "leg lamp" at our local Rite Aide. I'm so tempted to buy it because I loved that movie!

Ida said...

I LOVE that lamp!!

Zoey's Mommy said...

Am I the only person in the world who can't stand that movie?!

I've never received a gift or decoration like that, but I admit, I think it's pretty neat! :)

Michelle said...

Zoey's Mommy -- I'm right there with you, but I think it's because my husband refers to it NONstop every year, and I finally watched it last year. In bits and pieces part after part during the 24 hours of Christmas on TBS. NEVER again.

And ummmm, I love how it has its own pedestal? I think?

Cristie said...

I am laughing so hard after seeing that picture (and I NEEDED something to laugh about...) Many years ago my 75-year old Aunt with through a phase where she made those SAME exact dixie cup light creations and gave them to everyone in the family and tried to sell them. I bet the one you have is somehow connected to her...West Virginia--i guess they have nothing better to do! And David and I stopped at a store in middle-of-nowhere-Georgia one day and saw "THE LAMP" from xmas story--he so desperately wanted to buy it but I put my foot down and he sufficed for taking a picture of the lamp so he could show everyone he had found one somewhere....MEN!

Joyce said...

Oh my! My parents have 2 of those, they bought them at a giant flea market in AZ. They hang them up every year too.

The Tartaglia Family said...

Are there any rules against ME having a dusting "accident?" :-)

Joanna said...

LMBO!!! You are a better woman that I am. I would totally stage a "dusting" accident and ensure that there was no glue int he house.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

I'm seriously laughing at this. My MIL has one of those. And she has you beat. She leaves it out YEAR ROUND. Although I don't think I've seen it plugged in too much. My FIL is of the "turn off the lights" school. ;o)

Catherine said...

Lol - That is *really* bad!

Elizabeth said...

My favorite part of this post is this sentence: "I smiled at my Mom and thanked her for the gift and made a mental note to drop it off at the first Goodwill drop off point I passed going home." I am so there with you.

Kelly Deneen said...

That is awesome! :) And you are so nice. heheh!

tabetha_n_brian said...

I just ran across this blog through another blog and had to read this post. It made my day. Seriously, this made me laugh so hard that I am going to be laughing for the next week. My husband tried to buy the leg lamp once. Wasn't happening. But it is great of you to allow your husband to keep it. :)

Samantha said...

Niiiicccceeee. My grandma made those for Christmas gifts one year. Luckily my monster cats hated it and it got demolished. I am a little sad to say that it wasn't the craziest gift she has given me. But its the thought that counts right?

Steph said...

OMG- I love it! We have an actual leg lamp given to Ben as a funny gift since that move is one of his family favorites and we watch it every year... I may have to dig out a picture of it soon! Ben wanted to get rid of the lamp a while back, but I made him keep it (although it's deep in the basement somewhere).

Carole said...

LOL My Mom and grandmother had those. Too Funny, thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!

Susan said...

UGGGG!!!! How fun for YOU!

: )

Fullerton Family said...

That's hilarious!! "A thing of beauty" indeed!!

glassbeadfairy said...

update already!!!! :P

Janet said...

Haha! That is so funny! Love the story!

BTW, I made my blog private but would like to email you an invitation if you would like one. You can email me at janet5653@gmail.com if you would like.

Rhianna said...

Lol, that is so great! I don't love that movie, but your story to add to it makes it quite humorous!