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Classic Holiday Traditions – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Movie)

A Classic Holiday Tale – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of those “ya just gotta watch it” kind of Christmas movies; even though you have seen it 100 times already, you have to watch it when it comes on, and it still makes you snicker when you see it! Its’ appearance on television signals the start of the Christmas movie season, the time of year where one will see “It’s A Wonderful Life” or the classic “A Christmas Story” with the infamous BB gun fiasco listed hundreds of times on dozens of channels over a several week period.And what’s not to love about this classic? It has all of the classic stereotypes of holiday movies woven into the script: The mean boss, the annoying family member(s), the starry-eyed child awaiting Santa Claus, and even dogs ala “The Bumpus’dogs” who ruin dinner! But most of all, it is the hilarious situations our main character Clark Griswold seems to constantly find himself stuck in, situations that at least most of us could relate to some chaos of a holiday family gathering in our past.
The journey into Clarks’ personal tragedy begins when his son Rusty forgets to remind his Dad about bringing a saw to cut down the annual holiday tree. No problem, our hero uses his trusty station wagon to pull one from the ground, roots and all! After some jockeying, the tree makes it into the family parlor, only to burst through the windows when they release the tree from it’s’ bindings. This is just one of our hero’s holiday challenges, however, as just one light bulb is apparently holding up his 50,000 twinkle light display from coming to life. His dysfunctional cousin Eddie from out of state just happens upon the scene, derelict RV in tow as he has come to visit for the holidays. Let the laughs begin as the slobbering family dog “Snot” descends upon his unprepared hosts!
Poor Clark, the holidays are not treating him well! He gets trapped in the attic while hiding gifts, and takes an unplanned stroll down memory lane via an old Super 8 projector as he does his time waiting for the family to come back. Here, shivering up in the attic, he realizes that he is trying too hard to make everyone happy, that the whole meaning of the holidays is about spending time with family, not trying to impress them. Just as he begins to calm down, the final blow comes to the family: His mean, controlling boss has cancelled the annual Christmas bonus this year. No more Griswold family swimming pool, the big surprise everyone has been waiting for! Cousin Eddie goes over the top in kidnapping Clarks’ boss, but in the end this is a classic story of “goodness prevails”. This movie is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry!

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