National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is my absolute favorite holiday movie! There’s just smething about Clark W. Griswold and his wacky relatives that just cracks me up every time I watch it.
Plus, I can relate a little to poor Clark.
It seems that no matter how hard i used to try to have the perfect good old-fashioned family Christmas, it always ended up more like a National Lampoon’s Christmas. I’ve certainly had my share of full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergencies! An overcooked turkey, 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights, dangerous Christmas trees, a cousin Eddie – you name it, I’ve dealt with it all during the holidays! Well, except for the Jelly of the Month Club. I have yet to have the joy of that gift that keeps giving.
It took me a couple years to realize, though, that having a National Lampoon’s Christmas isn’t the end of the world. You can still have an awesome good old-fashioned family Christmas even if you are a little prone to National Lampoon’s prone. In fact, we could all stand to learn a little from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the Griswolds!
Always Check for Non-nutritive Cereal Varnish
I love my cereal crunchy, but the thought of ingesting Clark’s crunch enhancer makes me a little squeemish. From now on, I think I’ll be skimming the ingedients for dangerous sounding ingredients like non-nutritive cereal varnish.
Be Patient With Relatives
And that’s all the more reason to love them! After all, the world would be a pretty boring place if we were all normal.Keep in mind that the holidays are a time to reconnect with your loved ones. Yes, even your gross Cousin Eddie. Be patient and understanding, embrace your family, and appreciate the time that you have with them. And, when your family is driving you truly nuts, just remember what Clark said – “Christmas is about resolving differences and seeing through the petty problems of family life.”
Deck the Halls
You don’t have to put up 25,000 twinkle lights that are visible from outerspace or the electric bill that goes with them, but a few decorations really do go a long way to help you get into a festive mood! Make decorating a family affair and keep it light and fun. Oh, and do make sure you put your holiday lights away neatly at the end of the season. We wouldn’t want you to have to untangle any knots next year…
Pet-proof Your Home
Remember what happened to poor Aunt Bethany’s cat? Yeah, let’s not have a repeat of that! Keep your pet’s safety in mind this holiday season and pet-proof your home. Cover real Christmas tree stands to prevent thirsty pets from drinking icky water and tape cords loosely to the wall to make them look less like play toys. Also, keep pets away from tinsel and holiday treats.
You’re bound to have a National Lampoon’s Christmas if you’re counting on a huge holiday windfall or bonus. Before the holidays get in full swing, create a budget that you’re comfortable with. If you get a nice bonus during the season, then you can get a little something extra. If you end up with The Jelly of the Month Club, though, you won’t be left worrying that the checks won’t clear.
Keep Some Tylonol Handy
I’ll say it again – the holidays are a stressful time! You may not be having the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye, but don’t let that stress get to you. Even if you love spending time with your loved ones normally, it’s important to take a break and take a little time for yourself to unwind and de-stress. If you have to lock yourself in the attic and watch old reel to reels, then so be it! Just don’t sit on the trap door.
Keep Your Spirits Bright
The best thing that I learned from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was – no matter what happens – stay calm and make sure you have a sense of humor. You may be stressed out and crazy right now, but hang in there. It will be over sooner than you realize, and you’ll have memories that will last a lifetime. One of these days you’ll look back on Cousin Catherine’s dry turkey or the squirrel in the Christmas tree and smile.
Are you having a National Lampoon’s Christmas? How do you and your family deal with the stress of the holidays?