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Friday, December 21, 2018



Most people agree that Christmas is the best time of the year.  Not just for it’s religious significance, but there is just something special in the air this time of the year.  Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Ripping Ramadan, Kwazy kwanza, what ever you celebrate or even if you celebrate nothing, people are just nicer this time of the year.

The great thing about Christmas is, of course, getting presents.  Now we all learned that it is better to give than receive, and that is where my best gift ever comes.

The best gift ever is not expensive.  I have given fur coats to wives who have left me for someone else within the month…not such great gifts.  I have given jewelry which is nice, but it tires soon.  Gifts to children are wonderful, but within a week, they want more.

My greatest gift was not one that I received, but one that I gave. 

Keep in mind, I do not send cards, Mrs. C does, I only address and lick envelopes under protest.  I do not give gifts to anyone but close family and these days the gift is generally a check…and I am a little cheap.

About 7 years ago, I was perusing the internet and this silly item appeared, a “Leg Lamp.”  If you are a fan of Jean Shephard, or the Movie “A Christmas Story” you are familiar with the “Leg Lamp.”

“It’s a major award!”

Old friend Frog and I were fans of Jean Shephard long before his  movie became a classic, we were closet fans of his radio show.  Like many radio fans, we stumbled onto his story-telling show and late at night listened intently while parents expected us to be asleep. 

Closet Shephard fans only discovered that others also listened by chance.  A casual mention of something and

“Oh wow!  You listen to Shephard too!”

Anyway, I saw this ad for a “Leg Lamp” and thought,

“Damn, I am going to send one to Frog.”

Without telling him I ordered one to be sent to his home before Christmas.

When he received it he was excited.  His children were excited.  His wife tolerated it, and every year since he ritualistically pulls it out and places it in his front window.  He also sends me a picture of it on Facebook to let me know the tradition continues.

Stupid little lamp…cost maybe $30, but every year, it makes a friend happy, every year it brings back good memories, and every year I get thanked again which makes me happy, so it is the gift that keeps giving and it might be my best gift ever!

For more on Jean Shephard read

“The Greatest Story Teller Ever”

Merry Christmas!


  1. That was a nice thing to do, Joe. You're a good friend.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend and may you and yours have a very Merry Christmas. 🌲🌲🌲

  2. I visited the house this year (from the movie). We watch it every Christmas. A great gift!

  3. Ooh! That was the perfect gift. I hope Frog treated it carefully. It's FRA-JEE-LAY, you know!

  4. There's someone down the street from me who puts his leg lamp up in the front window of his house every Christmas, just as you would a tree or lights. I look forward to annual lighting of the leg. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

  5. That's the kind of gift that keeps giving. Well done!

  6. So it's a "long-standing" gift :)
    I can't put anything in my window, I only have the one window at the front of my place and Lola hogs the window sill.

  7. The best gift I ever gave: My sister-in-law was a prude. We gave my brother-in-law an anonymous 5-year subscription to Playboy!!

  8. You chose well with this Christmas gift. It's not surprising that your friend displays it every year.

  9. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas.

    God bless.

  10. Now you have me curious and I will have to watch Christmas Story to see when and why the leg lamp appears.You know a gift is special when you don't stumble on it in your friend's basement behind a mattress.

  11. You're a good gift giver! This movie is very popular around these parts since it was filmed in Cleveland and the house has tours. We watch it ever year and enjoy it like a good Christmas cookie! Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. C!

  12. I was a fan of Mr. Shepherd, also. And I can't tell you how many times I've seen "A Christmas Story". That was a great gift you sent your friend.

  13. Dang. I’d like one of those leg lamps.

  14. It's not how expensive the gift is that makes it a great gift, it's all the sentiment that comes with it. You did great, Cranky!