National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” has become an integral inclusion of the North American ‘Tis the season and has become a treasured addition to the holiday hits viewed each and every year, as a family tradition.
It was Dec. 1, 1989 when a beloved Christmas classic was born. For the past three decades, 30 years, Clark Griswold and his family have invited us into their home for the holidays. Marty Moose eggnog mugs have been also included in many a family’s Christmas cheer. Cousin Eddie’s unforgettable and iconic robe, toque and line, “The pooper’s full” is as popular as “Deck the Halls.”
Retro Festive, an online holiday superstore, has plenty of “Christmas Vacation”-inspired swag to purchase for loved ones or for one’s self – from beer growlers to a Jelly of the Month Club (made famous in the movie). Stores, everywhere, also have plenty of products from the movie on sale during and prior to the holidays.
Clark W. Griswold, played by comedian Chevy Chase, is as popular as the Jolly Old Elf Santa Claus, The Grinch, Kevin McCallister from “Home Alone,” Rudolph, Frosty and/or John McClane from “Die Hard.”
There are so many Christmas classic movies and TV shows for a variety of tastes including “A Christmas Story,” “Elf” and don’t forget “Festivus for the rest of us” from a Seinfeld episode. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “A Christmas Carol” and the cheesy and cringe-tastic “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Don’t forget the others in the Rankin/Bass seasonal cinematic television universe including “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”
With “Christmas Vacation” some loyal fans of the film organize holiday screenings and eggnog drinking parties with the proper mugs, at Halloween and during the holidays fans dress up as Cousin Eddie and those wanting to work on exterior illumination turn to the master to learn about lighting up homes with grace and style.
Most of the “Vacation” movies have become instant classics, but there’s something about the Christmas edition that has left its mark in the yellow snow (so to speak). The “Gris” is a likable and relatable character that just wants to give his family the biggest and best Christmas to go down in the history books. He pulls it off, but not without many mishaps and dis-merriment.
Speaking of books, “The Night Before Christmas” is read aloud in the movie after all things go to heck in a hand basket. Another Christmas villain is of course Scrooge, who becomes bitten by the Christmas morning bug after a night of visiting ghosts scaring the premise of gift giving into him.
All-in-all, “Christmas Vacation” has made us laugh for 30 years with its delightful homage to celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas and then some. The Griswolds represent a family in search of the perfect Christmas, as it becomes overwhelmed with all the hubbub, rather than just spending the holidays with family and friends. Sure, decking the halls is nice – but living in the moment with those liked and loved is the reason for the season. That’s the perfect gift.
Westwind Weekly News