Christmas Vacation is the only holiday film that matters

Sarah Boesveld makes the case for why the comedy is the ultimate Christmas movie.

This week, Chatelaine’s editors are battling it out to convince readers — and each other — that their favourite holiday movie is the most magical. This is the second passionate plea in our five-part series.

Well, folks, it’s Christmas and at Christmastime you tell the truth. So let me give it to you straight — White Christmas is not the Christmas movie, as my esteemed editor Carley Fortune would have you believe. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the only holiday film to perfectly skewer that eternal struggle for a “good old fashioned family Christmas.” If White Christmas gives us the idealized holiday of yore, the Griswold family’s misadventures in 1989’s Christmas Vacation show us just how impossible and unachievable an ideal that can be.

So here’s why you should spend 1 hour and 37 minutes of your Christmas vacation with, er, Christmas Vacation.

10. It nails exactly how you feel about the holidays.


9. Because the turkey is always just a little bit dry.


8. And the tree always a little too full.


7. It knows exactly what you’d say to your Grinch-like neighbours if only you could.


6. Because every family has a Cousin Eddie.


5. And an Aunt Bethany.


4. Because teamwork makes the dream work. Especially if you’re overly ambitious.


3. There is usually one inappropriate gift under the tree.


2. And chaos always ensues. Always.


1. But it’s a great reminder that you’re in this joyful, crazy thing together. Might as well enjoy it.