The Christmas Story House

I've been pretty much out of commission for the past month because of my asthma, an upper respiratory infection and dental surgery.  Yea...what a way to spend the holidays, right?!  I've been frantically shopping online and receiving multiple packages on a daily basis.  The tree (artificial this year because of my illness) is up, the decorations out and I was really getting cabin fever from being inside for so long.  That's when Hubby decided that we would take a spur of the moment trip...I mean like the night before we booked Cleveland.

We were originally planning to attend the Christmas Festival in Natchitoches that weekend when the weather forecast called for about 6 inches of rain.  Well, with me still recovering from sickness and a couple of the Grands with runny noses, there was no way we were going to get out in that mess.  It was also Caitlin's birthday weekend and I hadn't spent a birthday with her for four years.  So, we packed a bag, hopped a plane and were in Cleveland the day before her birthday!

It was cold there, I'm not gonna lie.  And I still really don't like Cleveland in the winter.  But for my baby girl's birthday it was well worth it.  And while we were there she asked me if I knew The Christmas Story House was located there.  WHAT?!  Are you kidding me?  How did I not know that?  That is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies!  Right then and there I decided that we HAD to go before heading home.
This is the original house where the movie was filmed.  Whenever it was purchased from a man out of California, houses in that neighborhood were selling for around &30,000- $40,000.  He offered $120,000 sight unseen for it.  Of course, the owners sold it.  However, when he and his wife came to look at it, the house was in terrible condition and about to be condemned.  They spent countless hours and money to restore it to what you see today.
When you enter the living room you see the "Leg Lamp".  Ahhh...the "Leg Lamp".  Just one of the many things that make the visit to this house so exciting for everyone who is a fan of the movie.

And then, leaning against the fireplace, near the Christmas tree is the Red Ryder BB Gun!  My nephews and my own boys alike, had BB guns and I can remember telling them to be careful with them as well.  They didn't put any eyes out with them but I do recall the glass in my French doors being shot out once!
And...the kitchen.  Where so many scenes in the movie were filmed.  Where Randy smashed food all over his face laughing the entire time.  It looked the same, however, it was so much smaller than it looked on film.

And the Christmas turkey!  You know... the one that the dad was so anxiously waiting to eat for lunch that the dogs destroyed and sent the family out to eat Christmas lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
                                 Then we moved upstairs to Ralphie and Randy's bedroom.

Holli was fascinated by the typewriter.  Imagine an entire generation who doesn't know how to use one of these things.  Yep...I remember taking a typing class in high school.  YIKES!  I think that dates me.
                The Bathroom.  Where so many important (and funny...) things happened.
Remember the "Secret Decoder Ring"?  As I was remembering the moment that Ralphie found out that it was merely an advertisement for Ovaltine (Who out there even remembers what Ovaltine was??), I didn't notice that Holli had picked that ring up as a new-found treasure!
See it in her hand?  I was insisting Hubby snap a photo of me reliving Raphie getting his mouth washed out with soap for the "Oh Fudge" scene and she was holding her new little treasure.  Luckily I saw what she had in her hand and replaced it (Whew!)
             We ended the tour of the house in the backyard, where the original shed can be found.

And that wasn't all!  Directly across the street is the museum which houses original costumes, the school blackboard, and many many other items that were found over the years to display here.  The gentleman who conducted our tour was wonderful, telling us all sorts of things that happened during production of the movie and things to look for the next time we watched it.  And yes...I have already watched it this year and with new eyes!

There is also a really cute gift shop next to the museum where individuals can purchase everything from "Oh Fudge" fudge, the fuzzy pink bunny pajamas that Ralphie got for Christmas, the Red Ryder BB Gun and, of course, The Leg Lamp!  If you are ever in the Cleveland area stopping here is a MUST!  And it is opened year round so it doesn't matter when you are in the area.  AND...if you haven't ever seen the movie (Are there actually people out there who haven't?!), then that is a MUST also!  And now is the perfect time because it is currently being aired during the holiday season.

             Click HERE to see the web site with all of the information about The Christmas
                                              Story House in Cleveland, Ohio.

 RIFLE." Ralphie