Christmas Vacation, An Annual Tradition.
Normally I’m not a guy that has movie traditions, but I do have one. Every mid-December, my mom, her boyfriend, my roommate, and I congregate over at my mom’s house to have dinner and put up and decorate the Christmas tree. Then, while were doing that, we play and simultaneously watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I don’t remember how long we’ve been making this an annual tradition, but it has always been one of my favorite days of the year.
Christmas Vacation is a sequel to the Clark Griswold family vacation movies that started in 1983 with the original one, Vacation. As funny as I think that first one is, I dare say that the 3rd installment, Christmas Vacation is even funnier. It’s the first, and only one in the series where the Griswold family doesn’t go anywhere, and gets into all sorts of comedic troubles at home. Everyone actor in it is in fine acting form, and is able to get the best out of their moments on screen. Lead by of course, Chevy Chase, it also stars Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, a pre-Big Bang Theory Johnny Galecki, Doris Roberts, Randy Quaid, a-pre Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Brian Doyle-Murray as Clark’s asshole boss.
What makes Christmas Vacation such a great movie is the balance of little moments and the big ones. Stuff such as like when Clark’s wife’s cousin’s big oaf of a husband Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his wife show up with their camper parked in their driveway. Everyone is greeting each other and we see that the little girls’ eyes are no longer cross-eyed because she got kicked by a mule, and that the dog’s name is Snots because he has a mucus condition that they haven’t figured out yet. Or like when Clark is getting out the lights to put up on top of the house, and it’s a giant ball of lights that must be at least 2 and a half feet in diameter. I think the final light count was around 10,000 – LOL. No one would put up 10,000 Christmas lights except for Clark Griswold. The best part is when the lights finally come one, and it takes up so much electricity, that it knocks out power to the rest of the neighborhood. Classic! One of my very favorite moments in the movie though is when the next-door neighbor (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is going to her car, and Clark comes out to cut-down a tree in his front yard and he’s wearing a Jason Voorhees hockey mask, and they ask Clark where he’s gonna put that thing (the tree) and he says “bend over and I’ll show you”. Oh my… haha!!
I love watching this movie every year because it is a nice tradition, and I know it so well that I start laughing before the jokes have even been made. It’s like putting on a warm pair of pants on a cold day. It’s comfortable and something you can rely on. I think we all could use something like that this year.