The REAL story of A Christmas Story’s leg lamp: How Oklahoma arts professor designed first version of iconic prop before it was spotted by film crews – and is now honored in his home town by giant 40ft inflatable

  • Visual Arts Prof Noland James from Oklahoma University created a leg lamp
  • It remained in his room throughout much of his career until he retired in 2001
  • It captivated those who visited his office including a man who worked on the 1983 film A Christmas Story and who worked on the production crew
  • A leg lamp features prominently throughout the film but James always believed that it was his prototype upon which the movie’s was based
  • Chickasha, Oklahoma city where James worked created a 40ft inflatable version as part of the city’s Festival of Lights in an attempt to draw visitors
  • The film A Christmas Story opened 37 years ago to mixed reviews but has shown its staying power as a holiday family favorite 


The man who created the first version of the iconic leg lamp from film A Christmas Story is being honored in his Oklahoma home town – with a  giant 40-foot tall inflatable version of the prop.

The film, set in the 1940s, sees adult character Ralphie Parker reminiscing on a Christmas where he was nine years old. 

It features a lamp in the shape of a leg delivered to a family in a large box reading ‘fragile’, to which the father famously says ‘fra-gee-leh, must be Italian!’  


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