Renewal of Vows: Helcberger Family

September 19th, 2015





April and I were married on September 17, 2005 and just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We both knew we wanted to renew our vows and were hoping we could do it at one of our favorite places.  A Christmas Story is a big part of both of our lives.  We both grew up on the movie and couldn’t wait until the 24 hour marathon every year.  When April and I met in 2003, A Christmas Story quickly became a topic of conversation.  Our love for the movie and our belief of the Christmas spirit made it apparent that we would be married.  At 9 months of dating I popped the big question and we married a little over a year after that in 2005.  The same year that we were married we got the news that someone purchased the home where A Christmas Story was filmed and their plan was to restore it to its movie glory.  We couldn’t be any happier about the news and waited with anticipation for the grand opening!  When the grand opening of A Christmas Story house took place we were there right in the middle of it.  We couldn’t believe the turn out for the event!  We waited for at least two hours to get in the house, but the feeling that we both shared when we first stepped into the house we will never forget.  The 100s of times that we both watched the movie, the news of the home being opened to the public, waiting to get into the home on opening day led us to an amazing experience.  Since that year we have attended the conventions, and visited/toured the house at least 20 times.  One story we always talk about and laugh about is when we got a chance to ride in the back of the fire truck from the movie.  It was probably only 40 degrees outside and everyone was huddled up in the back including my wife and I.  Everyone’s head was level with the roof so it wasn’t that cold for them.  Me being 6’ 8” my head stuck out well above the roof of the truck.  Let’s just say I had a little wind burn from that, and we couldn’t stop laughing about it.


During these ten years of marriage we had two kids, Jordyn and Jonas.  Since they were born they were brought up with the same spirit of Christmas that we have and learned from our parents.  They look forward to our trips throughout the year to A Christmas Story house where they enjoy sitting under the kitchen sink, standing next to the leg lamp and laying in Ralphie, and Randy’s beds pretending they are waking up on Christmas morning.  At least a handful of times the movie is quoted in our home on a daily basis.  Jonas on numerous occasions has shown us how a little piggy eats, and Jordyn knows the perfect timing when “oh fudge” should be included in a conversation.  Our large framed A Christmas Story poster hangs all year round and is always a great conversation piece when family and friends are visiting.  April also wears a heart shaped locket like Mrs. Parker does in the movie.  We had the name “Victor” inscribed on it so when someone asks who is Victor?  April quickly comes back with the answer, “the Lone Rangers nephew’s horse.” When Christmas time officially starts our two Christmas trees come out, and of course the “Major Award” makes its way to the front window near our Dept 56 A Christmas Story village display for all to see.


Fast forward to early 2015 we started to speak with the wonderful staff at A Christmas Story house where we presented the idea that we had for our vow renewal.  They were on board from day one and helped us put it all together.  We wanted our kids to experience this with us as obviously we did not have kids when we were originally married.  Top it off with Santa being the officiant made our vow renewal something our family will never forget and a moment we will truly treasure.  To us the movie, and the house represents us.  From the time we were both kids to today where we have kids of our own this movie has always created new fond memories.  The vow renewal at the house is something new and another Christmas memory made possible by the greatest Christmas movie, A Christmas Story.


Yours truly,

A Christmas Story super fans

Arek, April, Jordyn, and Jonas Helcberger