It just wouldn’t be an official holiday season without multiple viewings of the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We generally pull our DVD out around mid October, when the weather starts to get dreary and those first thoughts of Christmas enter our minds. By the end of January we have viewed Christmas Vacation a good five times and are quoting the entire movie each viewing. If you have never seen the movie, you truly are missing out on one of the absolute best movies representing a true family holiday, and not one that is all sugar coated and touchy feely. Of course there are some of those moments, but Christmas Vacation is a comedy relief during what can be one of the most stressful times of the year.

Christmas Vacation is written by John Hughes and stars the legendary Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Of course the lead actors are fabulous, but Christmas Vacation is truly an ensemble that is a force to be reckoned with. From a young Juliette Lewis portraying the surly teenage daughter to Doris Roberts portraying the mother in law that just can’t bite her tongue and drinks a little too much to the fantastic Randy Quaid portraying the long lost cousin that just doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the family driving in and unloading his rusty old RV in the pristine suburban community. If any of the supporting cast was not included, Christmas Vacation would be a completely different movie.

There are countless quotable scenes during the movie, and many of them are simple exaggerations of things we have each encountered in our own lives. The movie is completely relatable, which is one of the reasons it feels like inviting an old friend over when you watch it. Clark (Chevy Chase) hates his job and his boss, but sucks up endlessly to receive recognition only to be shafted on his Christmas bonus. Juliette Lewis (Audrey) laments at the fact that she has to sleep with her brother while her grandparents visit. Mae Questel (Aunt Bethany) is the old relative that isn’t quite all there and wraps up her cat as a Christmas present and sings the National Anthem instead of saying grace.

If you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation, get it now. Once you rent it, I guarantee that it will be purchased within the next few days and made a permanent part of your video collection and holiday season.

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