Nanaimo boy dresses as 12 festive film characters to spread joy
NANAIMO -- The boy is laughing, while dancing along to an animated lawn ornament playing ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’
While he waits for the Big Guy to arrive, the two-year-old is visiting some of the festive friends who are filling the front yard of his home — Frosty, Santa, and Ralphie.
“You used to actually wear that,” Jack’s mom, Nicole, says, pointing to a homemade statue of Ralphie, the boy from ‘A Christmas Story.’
Before they dressed Jack in Ralphie’s iconic pink bunny costume, his dad, Todd, was inspired by watching an advertisement for another holiday film — ‘Elf’.
“I just thought, ‘How great would it be to have Jack in that get-up?’” Todd smiles.
So, he crafted a pint-sized replica of the green and gold costume and Nicole captured a picture of Jack wearing it in a store. He was looking just like a mini-Will Ferrell realizing he couldn’t be farther away from the North Pole.
The process went so well that the parents wondered about transforming Jack into more holiday movie characters for a series of pictures for a 12 Days of Seasonal Cinema project.
“So he’ll have these great shots of himself as a kid, in these movies he’ll come to love,” Todd explains.
The pictures begin with the movies Jack can watch now — ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ (The boy is dressed as Yukon Cornelius), and ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (Jack is Charlie standing with Snoopy looking at their humble tree).
“For the most part he (seems) really well,” Todd laughs. “He even threw in some facial expressions that were perfect for his character.”
Jack mastered expressions like Kevin McAllister’s confident smirk while preparing to out-smart the burglars in ‘Home Alone’, or like Clark Griswold’s fleeting moment of triumph turning on his lights in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ – despite Cousin Eddie emptying his RV. Jack portrays both characters from that Christmas comedy.
“What you have to do is basically chase them around until you get a good picture of them,” Todd smiles, offering advice on how to work with young subjects. “You know, distract them [shaking] Christmas ornaments.”
Just ‘Jingle All the Way’ like Jack, dressed as the covered Turbo Man toy. Pray there’s no ‘Gremlins’ in your camera, like the one Jack carries in his backpack, Gizmo. Hopefully, you’ll get a good picture of ‘Bad Santa,’ like in an image where Jack is wearing a wee Santa suit and make-up stubble to look like Billy Bob Thorton.
“I know — one day — my son will appreciate having these memories,” Todd smiles.
Although he may grow up to be one of those people who actually hates ‘Love Actually,’ or rather than ‘jingle all the way’ says ‘yippee-ky-yay,’ as he is want to do while dressed as Bruce Willis in the air duct scene from ‘Die Hard’, Jack will always appreciate how he learned that if you don’t watch out that Red Ryder carbine-action, 200 shot, range-model air rifle just might shoot your eye out – which brings us back to the picture of him wearing Ralphie’s bunny suit from ‘A Christmas Story.’
Todd also hopes his son looks back on the photo series and remembers that, “spending time with your family, using your hands in a creative way, is a good way to bring joy to the world.”
And that joy can continue on. The costumes Jack wore in the pictures are now being used to dress the characters in their elaborate front yard Christmas display.
Along with Ralphie riding a reindeer, Santa is hanging upside-down, tangled-up in a string of lights being held by an elf on the roof.
The characters might want to consider whether their holiday hijinks are naughty or nice, because you don’t need to interpret Jack’s dance on the lawn below to know that Santa Claus is coming to town.