This was the standard holiday greeting of my siblings and I. We’d gleefully say it to our elderly aunts and uncles, as well as the children. Who weren’t listening anyway, busily shoving cookies into their mouths as they snatched presents from our hands. And like the movie it comes from, it never got old.
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation was our favorite holiday movie. We understood Clark Griswold. We grew up with a parent that was determined to make Christmas magical. So determined that she destroyed every bit of joy associated with the holiday. She meant well, but it was an excruciating event that ended with fighting, recriminations, tears, and finally, half hearted reconciliations. When the relatives had gone home, the leftovers came out, the serious drinking began, and we’d watch Clark bumble his way through the holiday, making a less heated mess of it than our mother, but a catastrophe none the less. We’d laugh, toast each other, give mom some shit, and call it a good Christmas.
I don’t travel home for the holidays anymore. And I’ve finally learned to scale back so I don’t continue the tradition of ruining Christmas for my own little family. I like other Christmas movies: Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Scrooged. But on Christmas Night we always watch Christmas Vacation. What’s your favorite holiday movie?