Christmas in Cleveland

See the real-life "A Christmas Story" house (and leg lamp).

One of the most recognizable movie props of all time at 3159 W 11th St. in Cleveland.
  • One of the most recognizable movie props of all time at 3159 W 11th St. in Cleveland.

What am I going to do in Cleveland? That was my very first thought when my boyfriend asked me to go there with him for a friend’s wedding. Since he was part of the wedding party, I felt it my girlfriend duty to smile and agree. Clearly, the selfish part of me quickly resorted back to the thought of, what is there to do in Cleveland? I mean, besides attend a wedding.

With a little research, I soon discovered that Cleveland, Ohio, is home to the house that was in one of the best Christmas movies of all time: A Christmas Story!

A Christmas Story IS Christmas to me. It means holiday after holiday sitting around eating with my siblings annoying my mom by quoting every line from it. And there are so many classic ones to choose from. “I can’t put my arms down!” “It’s a major award!”

“Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra!” I began feeling fuzzier towards Cleveland. This was meant to be. I was excited to visit this home-turned-museum and see that leg lamp up close and personal.

Upon arriving at the house, I was surprised to find it smaller than I had imagined – not that it was humongous in the movie, but I pictured something a bit more grandiose. But there in the window with a softly lit glow (just like in the movie) was the iconic leg lamp.

The tours at the museum run every half-hour, and tickets can be purchased across the street at the gift shop. There were a lot of people – more than I expected – who I’m assuming were also there for nostalgic purposes as well.

The tour was short, but informative. And there were ties to San Diego – it turns out that the house was bought by a San Diego man who bought the house on eBay for five times the asking price. He then had to put nearly $240,000 into renovations to bring us the memories we get to keep today.

The leg lamp was the highlight of course, as was the Red Ryder BB Gun, but to visit the place that brings my family giddy happiness year after year was priceless.

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You were in Cleveland and you didn't go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Oh Noooooooo!

Don't worry -- I DID go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well!

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