In 1989 National Lampoon released the third instalment of their “Vacation” franchise starring The Griswold family. This time the film focussed on Clark Griswold as he tried with all of his might to pull off a fun, old-fashioned Griswold family Christmas – but of course everything goes wrong and hilarity ensues! National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation turns 30 this year so we thought this would be a perfect time to reflect on our favourite moments from this hilarious Christmas movie!
“Christmas Vacation” Title Track
Who could forget the opening song to Christmas Vacation, the catching title track sung by the legendary Mavis Staples? No matter where you are in the house when the movie starts, this songs draws you to the living room with a mighty “Hip Hip Hooray for Christmas Vacation!” and will stay in your head throughout the season.
The Old Front-Wheel Drive Sleigh
The movie begins with the Griswold’s in their Family Truckster aka the 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire on their way to find the Griswold family Christmas Tree. Clark is ecstatic, Ellen is supportive, and Audrey and Russ are indifferent. The first of many hilarious moments begins after a bit of road rage!
Drum Roll Please!
Christmas Vacation is about family. Beyond the mayhem, beyond the 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights, Clark Griswold knew that Family is what it’s all about. That is why he tried, and tried again to light his house for Christmas, no matter how much his family grumbled about standing in the yard starting at the house in their pajamas.
One of the many surprises for Clark Griswold was when Cousin Eddie showed up unannounced with his wife and two children for Christmas. But that was nothing compared to when Clark woke up to the silent majesty of winter’s morn. The clean, cool chill of holiday air. And an asshole in his bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into his sewer.
Every moment with Aunt Bethany in Christmas Vacation is perfection. We have all had that dear, sweet family member who has lost a marble or two. Endearing Aunt Bethany and crotchety Uncle Lewis are an iconic pair!
Happy 30th Anniversary Christmas Vacation! If you would like to bring more of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation into your own home, check out RetroFestive’s Christmas Vacation Department 56 village!