Christmas Vacation

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, it’s cold, and it’s windy, and there’s frost on the ground. I could almost make my prediction that Winter is here, even though officially it is three days away. Tempering my pronouncement of Winter is the forecast for next week. Rain, and highs in the seventies. It’s kind of like Winter in the rain forest. A great time of year for Ear, Nose and Throat specialists.

With so much confusion going on, in the world, and here at TackyToo, I went in search again of a Date Night movie that would lift our spirits. I rummaged through my extensive stack of Betamax films looking for just the right mix of humor and Christmas theme. Is there a better choice than “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”? I don’t think so.

I admit, with moods as dark and somber as they’ve been around here lately, I could have gone with “Reindeer Games”. Who doesn’t love watching Charlize Theron? Ben Affleck would have been the bonus for Mulva. Santa Clauses robbing a casino is certainly a Christmas theme, but, since I didn’t know if I was going to be wrangling the Bread brood again this week, I went with the tamer “Christmas Vacation”.

Now when I use the phrase tamer, I don’t want to suggest that “Christmas Vacation” doesn’t have some of the most outrageous scenes ever committed to film. In fact, there were a few scenes in the movie that I thought, “Geez, I don’t know if that’s ever happened at one of our Christmas’s before.” I can certainly relate to over-wiring the park with Christmas lights and causing a blackout. Critters getting into the tree are kind of a routine event around here, but the Griswolds did a good job of making light of the situation.

I am happy to report that we were fortunate, dare I use the phrase, “Blessed”, to not have the Bread hellions in attendance for this date night. Just the old girl and me and a big pot of popcorn. It gave us the time to reflect on our Christmas’s past. Since we have a boy and girl, like the Griswolds, and in-laws that don’t get along, the movie was very relatable. In fact, I felt like we could have written some of the scenes ourselves. I researched the Betamax case and found that the movie was actually written by John Hughes. Yeah, “Pretty In Pink”, John Hughes.

The movie was based on Hughes’ short story titled, “Christmas ’59”. The film stars Vacation standards, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid. Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki are brought in as the Griswold children. The film was released in 1989, but guess who is making the most money today? I’m going with Johnny Galecki at a million dollars an episode for the “Big Bang Theory”. Who would have ever thought a Griswold would have achieved such heights? I mean, without being physically blown up, which does happen in the movie. Another reason I’m glad little Devin Bread wasn’t watching the movie.

Anyway, the movie has a great role for Bill Murray’s older brother, Brian Doyle Murray. Brian provides the catalyst for Clark Griswold to go into one of his classic “nutso”, “out of his mind”, “why is the world against me” scenes. The scene results in the destruction of the Griswold’s Christmas decorations, and possible the Waste Treatment Plant off in the distance. The closing scene shows Clark smiling because he has provided a unique Christmas experience for his family, and all of us.

Well, I’m hoping our Christmas is tamer this year. It seems like we’ve had enough confusion in 2015 that we should be able to just live out the balance of the year in peace and harmony. If I need a little more adrenaline pumping I’ll just live vicariously through the movies. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” was a good start, check it out.

Download PDF

Leave a Reply