Reader friends, I’d like to give the warmest of welcomes to Sharon from The Book Barbies. She’s mad cool with one of my favorite blogs ever and some really great taste in books AND movies. Give it up for her as she talks to you all about one of her Christmas movie traditions!
I’m a Christmas enthusiast. Bring on the mistletoe, holly, and even the fruitcake. I have hours upon hours of Christmas music. But perhaps most of all, I love Christmas movies. Whether it’s classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, essentials like The Santa Clause, or cheesy Hallmark/ABC Family movies, I will watch them all. Albeit, the Hallmark ones might not get more than one viewing, but I will at least give them a chance.
In this vein, I’d like to talk about a Christmas movie tradition my family and I have.
On Thanksgiving night, when it’s down to about 6 or so of us at my cousins’ house, we break out a game. The game varies. It could be anything from Ticket to Ride to Apples to Apples. The movie, however, is the same every single year. It would be unthinkable to choose anything else. We’ve been known to watch it twice in a row just because we realized we didn’t pay enough attention the first time around, due to the game (yet the game is still a mandatory part of the experience). It opens with the best title sequence ever and a great song, and it closes…well, it closes in a way that will really only make sense if you’ve seen the movie. But from beginning to end, I love Christmas Vacation.
This may seem like an odd choice to “officially” kick off the Christmas season. (Well, kick off for a couple of them, anyway. I have one cousin whose Christmas spirit makes me look like Ebenezer Scrooge. By that point, we’ve been Christmas-ing it up for weeks.) But my entire family loves this movie. For years, it was the mandatory Christmas Eve movie at my parents’ house, as well, though it has since been replaced with I’ll Be Home for Christmas (my inner eleven-year-old still squees over Jonathan Taylor Thomas, so I’m okay with this).
No, it’s not the most family-friendly film. It’s a little crass, not exactly in the same vein as your typical Christmas movie. But there are few Christmas movies that make me laugh this hard. I can quote Christmas Vacation backwards and forwards (yes, even the infamous rant, though I’ve yet to master it backwards), and I still die laughing every time. I love Todd, Margo, Cousin Eddie, and even the squirrel. But I think the thing I love most about Christmas Vacation is its heart.
Clark Griswold is many things. He is accident-prone, a rather terrible decision-maker, and tends to be singularly focused to a fault. But he always, always has the best of intentions. He loves Christmas. He loves family. He dedicates every bit of his time and energy to create what he envisions is the best Christmas possible for the entire family, despite numerous setbacks. And I admire that even more than I enjoy watching as he tries desperately to bring it about.
So, there you have it! One of my favorite Christmas movie traditions.
I wish you the hap-hap-happiest Christmas ever!
P.S. If you share my enthusiasm for this movie, you will probably enjoy knowing that the Christmas Vacation Drinking Game exists. You’re welcome.