It’s December, which means it’s time to get cheery. Throughout the month we’ll be sharing our favorite holiday films from old classics to new releases. To start the month off, we went with a big one — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Juliette Lewis, and Johnny Galecki, and was released on December 1, 1989. This was the third of the National Lampoon Vacation series, with Vacation and European Vacation coming before, and is considered the best of the franchise’s sequels. And for good reason.
The story follows the Griswolds in all their Christmas glory as Clark vows to make this the most “fun, old-fashioned family Christmas” ever. With the largest tree from the farm, 25,000 lights that blow the entire city’s fuse, an exploding turkey, a mischievous cat, and a full RV septic tank … this film has all the makings of a quintessential family holiday. From the start, all the way to the zany ending, there’s no way you don’t find a small glimpse into your own family’s Christmas get-togethers.
Some of the best lines in referring to the holidays with way too many people under one roof are featured in this film. Cousin Eddie’s “Sh*tter’s full,” to the frustration of Clark with “Hallelujah! Holy shi*t! Where’s the Tylenol?,” Ellen’s defeat, “I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery,” and of course, the ever-famous Clark line, “He’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of a*sholes this side of the nuthouse.”
This film is just hilarious, but it also encompasses all the strange, annoying, yet wonderful things that happen when the family comes together for the holiday. Whether that’s pretending to enjoy a completely botched meal, making sure all the kids have gifts, or kidnapping your brother’s boss when he doesn’t get the raise he’s expecting, there’s a lot of problems, but (hopefully) also a lot of love, even if intentions are misplaced.
So, on the film’s 30th anniversary today, welcome in the holiday season with a rewatch of one of the best of all time, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and keep an eye here with us for more holiday recommendations!