Now that Christmas is over and we have gone barreling into a brand new year, I can finally post about the super secret surprise gifts that I gave to Scott last year. Since we are in a household with two human adults, we tend to buy things as we need or want them throughout the year. This leaves little for traditional gift giving at the designated holiday times; birthdays, Christmas, etc. So, each year, I attempt to do something unconventional and completely unnecessary for life to go on. As most of you know, this is really not any different than I function throughout the year, it is just a little more obvious at holiday time.
For 2021, I decided to go with a theme. Scott’s favorite Christmas movie is “A Christmas Story.” We watch it every year without fail. If you know the movie, you will understand the rest of the post. If not, I highly recommend watching the movie. You won’t regret it.
Earlier in the year, I was able to procure a mannequin leg, the kind you would see in a shoe store. Amazon is the best. Anyway, I made the rounds to the various thrift shops in town until I found a lampshade that fit the bill, used epoxy to add the fringe (don’t use hot glue for this) and all that was left was the shoe and parts.
The shoe was the most difficult thing about the entire build. Since we only have one vehicle, I had to do my thrift shopping on days when Scott was home and I could use the truck. This was a problem because I could not just grab the leg out of the attic and say see you later. I had to trace the foot on a piece of paper and then, at the thrift shops, compare the arch and size of the foot drawing to the various shoes that I thought might work. It took three tries to get the perfect shoe. At this point I felt like I was in some sort of creepy Cinderella story.
Anyway, once Halloween came around, I was able to get some fishnet stockings and a garter for the leg. Amazon again to the rescue for the lamp parts and Voila, I give you the LEG LAMP!
After all was said and done, the whole thing cost me about $25. Then I started thinking about the box…
As luck would have it, we have a nephew who is now in the cabinet making business, so I asked him to make as authentic a box as he could. He made a total work of art! I found the font used for the word FRAGILE, blew it up on my computer, printed the letters out (one letter per page, they were huge), taped the letters to a large sheet of posterboard, cut the outline out with an exacto knife, and used the stencil to put the letters on the box with a gigantic sharpie.
The box was perfect, except it had to be filled with straw, or some kind of filler. I could not find any of the shredded paper (like in the movie) in time, so I opted for a large bag of beanies. Those cost me more than the gift did…sigh.
Now that I had the gift completed, I thought back to my “theme” and tried to figure out what else I could do. The “Major Prize” came after “The Old Man” (Frank Parker) receives a telegram letting him know he has won it. So, I was able to download the telegram from the internet, change the name on it, and print it out. I taped it to the front door on Christmas morning, before the lamp was delivered by Scott’s dad and two nephews.
The final piece of my theme gift was, of course, Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB Gun. Did you know that they make an adult version? Yep, on Amazon. It is awesome! This made the gift complete. I hid the wrapped gun behind the wood burning stove, since we did not have a tree this year and so it took a few minutes for him to see it there. The whole morning was a hoot. If you have any desire to make one of these lamps, I highly recommend it. It is such an iconic pop culture item and well worth the laughs.
I leave you with the video of Scott opening the box, which was, of course, nailed shut. How was your Christmas? Hope you had a good one and laughed a lot. Until next time… ~D