Hip Hip Hooray! It is that time of year again! Time for egg nog, thousands of tangled strings of lights, and paying homage to the Christmas movies that we love so much.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation released in 1989. There are several plot points in this movie all of which are based around one main goal for the Griswold family: have a great Christmas.

First things first: The Griswolds need a Christmas tree! In one scene, Clark (Chevy Chase), Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), Audrey (Juliette Lewis) and Rusty (Johnny Galecki) went to chop down a Christmas tree for their home. The entire journey was absolutely hilarious. Everyone was freezing to death, and Clark had delusions about how glorious this tree would be… so it was too big for the house. Clark also forgot the saw, so when the tree is shown on top of the car, it is shown with roots attached.In sticking with the theme of extravagant Christmas decorations, Clark and Rusty put over 25,000 lights on the house. They struggled to get them on throughout the episode.

Another great scene is when family members began arriving to the Griswold house. First, I must mention Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) who had one of the best lines in the movie: “Merry Christmas! Shitter was full.” Then, there is elderly Aunt Bethany (Mae Questel), who wrapped a cat as a gift. Fun fact: Mae Questel did the cartoon voices for Betty Boop and Olive Oyl. Christmas Vacation was her last on camera role before her death. I love all of the crazy family members because it reminds me of my bizarre family. We are all insane, but we love each other.

The dinner was disgusting, and difficult to watch. The turkey was…. dry? It was basically non-existent. I cannot even describe how vomit-inducing the rest of the random side-dishes looked. Suffice it to say, it was bad.

Every year, Clark gets a Christmas bonus from his work. He is expecting a large bonus this year, and has already decided to use it to put a pool in their backyard. However, when his letter is delivered, Clark, he finds out that instead of a Christmas bonus, he has been given a one year subscription to the jelly of the month club. This sets Clark off into the best tangent I have ever seen in any movie to this day:

Eddie kidnaps Clark’s boss. His wife and the police show up at Clark’s house, and when his boss explains that he didn’t give the employees their Christmas bonus, she is clearly upset with him. His boss then gives him a much larger than expected bonus, sending Clark into a cartoon-like fainting spell.

The movie ends with a very touching moment outside the Griswold home when all of the lights are on and the family is close together.

This movie is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time for several reasons::

*This movie has some of the most frequently quoted memorable lines of any film.

*I got to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus attacked by a squirrel. In my mind, it was real.

*Cousin Eddie. I know that I don’t need to explain but I will. I have never seen such a hilarious portrayal of a happy-go-lucky white-trash man than Cousin Eddie. He never disappoints.

*The Griswold kids are always different! I love that Audrey and Rusty are played by two different people in every movie.

*Aunt Bethany was asked to say the blessing at dinner, and instead said the Pledge of Allegiance. Every time I see this movie, even though I know it is coming, I laugh hysterically.

For these reasons and many more, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation gets 5/5 Charlie Brown Christmas Trees. An absolute must see Christmas flick.

For more COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS – Click it Here! 


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