Classics: ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

Let me tell you….National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. It’s one of those films that if I don’t see it before Christmas, then it ain’t Christmas. It’s that serious. What makes this movie so appealing to me besides the comedy is the fact that I thought ethnic families were the only folks with that type of dysfunction. The Griswald family proved me wrong in the best way and I thank them every year for the BLESSING. (We will talk about Aunt Bethany.)

During the holidays, it is literally just my great aunt, my momma, my grandma and me. We play cards, eat food, and they catch my momma up on folks I’ve either never met or have that one time when I was three. Until I get married in 2065, I will never know what it’s like to have an event where family travels to my house to eat my food in my house. Another reason holiday movies, in general, intrigue me. Let’s start at the top.

When I was a child (there will be a lot of comparison stories from my life in this post), we had a fake tree my mom would put up. I still have the tree and continue the tradition of putting that tree and all its decorations up. The Griswold family is one of those families that travels moles away to get a fresh tree of the season. As a plant mom of three, I get it, but my plants aren’t a 10 ft tree in the middle of my house that sheds. That’s added work I just don’t want to do. Before we even get to pick a tree, there’s a road rage incident. It makes sense. It’s the holidays. People drive as though they’ve forgotten how to drive or they just shouldn’t have a license. Irritates my spirit, too, but Clark, in true Final Destination fashion, finds himself on the road with a truck hauling long logs! In the mist of the argument of horsepower, he ends up, with his family, UNDER THE TRUCK. They cruise under the truck for a whole until ge veers off, missing some snow device on the side of the road, and careens off the side of the road! Sir! What was the reason? Do this by yourself! Not with your entire family in the car.

Next, we have Eddie. Eddie is that family member who everyone knows has some type of issue. In this case, he ain’t been working for over seven years because he’s holding out for a manager position. When I first caught that when I was watching this movie, I hollered! A manager position and you ain’t worked nowhere? How sir! He unexpectedly shows up to the house, throwing off all of Clarks’s out of the window. But in his defense, I think he and his wife were thinking about their kids. It gets lonely for kids in their situation and they needed to be around people who loved them and their parents.

Let’s go back to these lights. Sir. First of all, how do you have the time and energy to light your houses like you do? And how much does your electric bill go up when you light it up like that? Questions that need answers. Poor, Clark. He went through hell trying to get those lights to work. A man that was determined his house to be as festive as possible. His family didn’t even seem to be excited or supportive of the effort which made it funnier. We do all this for these kids and they like, “Can we go play Fortnite?” I hate these kids!

Moving on to Aunt Bethany, who is my favorite person in this film hands down. Forget the rest of the family. Give me just Aunt Bethany. Honestly, she shouldn’t be traveling at this point in her life, and I hear you. This could be her last Christmas, and based on her behavior, if might have been but she should have been left right at home. First off, as she walked in, under the careful arm of Clark, she asks, “Is your house on fire, Clark?” Now, Aunt Bethany. Why would he walk you into a burning building? Then, she goes, “Don’t throw me down, Clark!” One of these Christmases when I watched it I was like, “Why would she think he would throw her down?” My mom answered with, “You know how you fall and someone might take you with them? You’ll be on the ground before them and they’re the reason you both are falling.” Didn’t really hit me until a wedding I was in. One mom says don’t let me fall and the escort says, “If you fall, we’re both going down.” The other escort says he won’t let the happen. I get it, Aunt Bethany. She also wrapped her cat. Why her husband didn’t notice a cat was in the box, I don’t know. These are public examples of marriage here.

The dinner! Listen, I just watched a video where a black man proclaimed that white people make better turkey than black people, and I agreed until I thought about this movie and some others. Not everyone should be authorized to make a turkey. Clark’s wife is one of those people. And they’re a wonderful family for suffering through it and Aunt Bethany remembering that Grace died years ago. There would be no way that I would be crunching on that turkey. Just no way.

Finally, Clark gets like Loretta Devine’s character in Kingdom Come and reminds everyone that they are getting on his nerves but they’re family and they’re going to have the time of their lives even if it literally kills everyone. This is after the dog and the squirrel tore up the house. Everyone would have to go after they incident. Clark is a great man, y’all.

Those are my highlights. What are some of yalls?

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