Classic Christmas with the Griswolds

Classic Christmas with the Griswolds

The holidays are around the corner which means an extensive break full of binge watching classic Christmas movies. Personally, my favorite Christmas movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and I re-watched it this past weekend.

The film follows the Griswold family during the hectic Christmas season. It opens with the family trying to gather a Christmas tree and experiencing some mishaps. After that both sets of grandparents come to the Griswolds home to stay, and Clark, the father (Chevy Chase), smothers the house in twinkling lights which causes a power outage. Then Cousin Eddie shows up and causes mayhem.

At this point in the movie the viewer can relate to the cynical take on Christmas the film presents. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, but even I understand visiting all of one’s extended, and sometimes, immediate family can be tiring, stressful, and irritating. I have not yet left home, so I do not know the displeasure of revisiting my home town at Christmas time and with that my family. While seeing family after long periods of time is usually not that bad, it does have its cons, and the film highlights these in its characters, creating caricatures full of stereotypes of unpleasant family members.

After all of this in the movie, Clark wants his Christmas bonus early, so he can lay down an advance payment on his swimming pool installment. Then the family has a disastrous Christmas Eve dinner; Clark gets an envelope containing a years free membership for the Jelly of the Month Club instead of a bonus. This causes Clark to snap. The movie ends with a completely insane Cousin Eddie “kidnapping” Clark’s boss. A SWAT team shoes up, but the boss doesn’t press charges. Clark ends up getting his much need Christmas bonus, and then the families leave.

I love this movie because it is hysterical, and it shows how all families have their messy sides. Despite the eventual bickering that ensues when families come together over the holidays, I love spending time with the people I love no matter how unbearable it can get, and this is the film’s main theme. Christmas is an over the top holiday focused on materialism, and we are all forced to spend time with our families. This film seems like it’s only focused on this, but at the last minute it shows the true meaning of Christmas is spending time with the people you love, or rather, are forced to love.