‘Tis the season to watch the Griswold family miserably fail — and then gloriously succeed — at creating a picture-perfect Christmas. While the 1989 holiday classic keeps us in stitches year after year, it also reminds us to be thankful for our own wacky families and loved ones.
What we’ve learned about love from National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation’:
Everyone’s family is crazy.
It’s that old adage: When you marry someone, you marry their family. Part of ‘Christmas Vacation’’s charm is that every viewer can identify with some of the craziness that entails. Accept that your family is crazy, his family is crazy, and a good time can still be had by all — somehow.
Nothing will ever go according to plan.
Happy endings can still follow catastrophes. Not that plans don’t have their place, but let yourself off the hook if they start to derail. And, yes, this applies to your love life, too. Just because you’re still single at 40 — and not married with three children by now, as was your 10-year plan 10 years ago — doesn’t mean your story won’t have a spectacular, heart-warming finale.
Don’t set standards no one can live up to.
Clark Griswold’s family couldn’t live up to his visions of Christmas perfection. Had he pursued Christmas visions of lesser grandeur, he would have reduced a majority of their holiday stress.
Don’t expect perfection in others. Instead, expect character. Be selective in who you date, but don’t create a must-have list that essentially eliminates every single man who isn’t Jamie Oliver or Ryan Gosling.
Communication is key.
Clark Griswold neglected to tell anyone he was heading up into the attic and ended up getting stuck up there. Learn to communicate. Share important details. Listen carefully. Great relationships are built on great communication.
Ask for help.
Had Clark Griswold been humble enough to ask for help, the movie would have been 10 minutes long.
Don’t spend your bonus before you get it.
It’s a financial strategy and a relationship one. Don’t put that proverbial cart before the horse. Let things happen in order. (This means no marriage talk on the first date!)
Choose generosity and an upbeat attitude.
“We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f’ing Kaye.”
Clark’s “motivational speech” might be anything but, but at least he tried to rally the troops and inspire with an upbeat attitude. Despite the chaos at the Griswolds’, the family did demonstrate generosity toward their unannounced guests.
When everything goes wrong, grin and bear it. When your love life appears to go up in smoke, choose perseverance and press on. A failed relationship or first-date-gone-bad will one day be a but a chapter in a much larger, happier story.
Even this seemingly hopeless disaster movie has a happy ending.
Image courtesy: Warner Bros.