Christmas Vacation
National Lampoon Film

Family Greetings

Director Jeremiah S. Chechik
(as Jeremiah Chechik)
Producer Tom Jacobson
Writer(s) John Hughes
Music Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Thomas E. Ackerman
(as Thomas Ackerman)
Filming dates
Editing Gerald B. Greenberg
(as Jerry Greenberg) &
Michael A. Stevenson
(as Michael Stevenson)
Studio Warner Bros. Pictures
(as Warner Bros.)
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
(as Warner Bros. Pictures
A Warner Communications Company)
Released Australia
30 November 1989
Runtime 97 min
Country USA
Language English
Budget $27,000,000 (estimated)
Gross $71,320,000 (USA)
Spinoffs Vacation 2:Cousin
Eddie's Island Adventure
Connections Follows
Vacation & European Vacation.
Is Followed by
Vegas Vacation & Hotel Hell Vacation
IMDB Ref tt0097958


This year, Clark Griswold is really into Christmas, and promises his family the best Christmas ever. However, instead of the best Christmas ever, Clark turns Christmas evening completely around, causing a domino effect of disasters that eventually seems to drive everyone crazy. Written by Chris Wang


Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Character errorEdit

  1. When the squirrel is in the house Clark says that Eddie usually eats them. Catherine says he stopped since they have high cholesterol. In fact, like most wild game, squirrel meat is very low in cholesterol. Eddie probably misread the article.


  1. Just before the sledding scene, the hill in front of the family is very rough, with large mounds of snow, but when Clark goes down the hill, it has become very smooth. Clark probably spotted a smooth section.
  2. When Clark announces he was going to use the bonus check to install a swimming pool (and anything remaining would be used to fly them all out to dedicate it), the camera shot over Ellen's shoulder shows her expression of joy, but when the camera angle switches to show her more face on, her facial expression is more of shock and horror. Realisation of the likely disruption of what Clark is planning.
  3. The swat team leader tells Clark "I told you to freeze", and Clark asks "May we blink?". Behind the swat leader, the front door is standing wide open. After Clark asks "May we blink?", Mrs. Shirley and the police chief enter the house through the front door, but when they do, they open the door, the same door that was standing wide open seconds before. The door could have swung shut.

Factual errorsEdit

  1. Clark Griswold's Ford Taurus station wagon is shown to have exterior wood paneling, an option that was never available on this car. (However, it's possible the exterior appliques were added by the filmmakers as a nod to the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" the Griswold family bought in Vacation.) Maybe Clark applied these himself.

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  1. When Clark is locked in the attic, he sees a movie reel marked "Christmas 1959", but when he's later watching movies, it says "Christmas 1955". (IMDB) There might have been several year's worth of Xmas movies, and the first one we see him watching wasn't necessarily the first reel he looked at in the box.
  2. The family Christmas tree shrinks smaller and smaller throughout the movie. (IMDB) This could be because they trimmed it back considerably so it didn't take up the whole room.

Plot holesEdit

  1. At the beginning, the Griswolds are driving home with their new Christmas tree, roots and all, yet they brought no tools with them. All four of the Griswold's together could not uproot a 25-foot tall tree, let alone strap it to the roof of their vehicle without tools or equipment. Clark could have had tools in the car, which the others could have retrieved for him.

Movie MistakesEdit


  1. When Clark Griswold is on a ladder putting Christmas lights up on his house the trees in the background are green and leafy, (not evergreen trees), indicating summertime, although there is snow on the ground and it is supposedly winter. As Clark climbs the ladder, all of the tall trees behind the house have no leaves and are even covered with snow. The bush that does have leaves next to the evergreen, beside being the only thing with leaves, could easily be any number of plants that retain their leaves throughout the winter. Corrected by jerimiahTime
  2. In the opening scene where Clark and the two guys in the pickup are racing, Clark pulls under a 18-wheeler. In the close up shots, you can see the truck's tyres from under the truck, but in the far away shots, you can see the safety bars that were put under the truck for the stunt driver so he wouldn't ride up under the truck. There are no bars or any other special enhancements that were done to the truck for this stunt. The only visible bars in the close up and far away shots are the ones that hold the mudflaps in the front and the same bar across the back wheels that's seen in all of the shots. Corrected by jerimiah
  3. When Clark is going up in the attic, he has a bag with two gifts in it. As he goes into the attic, there are three gifts in the bag. We never see the contents of the bag as he's going to the attic and up the stairs. All we see is that he's carrying a large bag with some bows & ribbon coming out the top. There is no way to see how many presents are in the bag. Corrected by MovieGuy
  4. When the neighbors fall onto the floor of their bedroom when Clark's Christmas lights finally go on, you can tell a stunt double is standing in for the female neighbor as she falls down at the foot of the bed. HOW can you tell? What's different? Clothes, hair, face, body? Corrected by MovieGuy
  5. At the beginning of the movie, when the Griswold family are in their car under the wood truck, everybody panics but not Russ, who sings or something like that. Character choice: He's used to this kind of thing from his dad. Corrected by MovieGuy
  6. In the scene where Eddie is introducing Snots, the first shot has the dog perfectly clean, but when Eddie explains why that is his name, in the next shot he is covered with snot. When the camera is on Eddie explaining his name, you can hear Snots sneeze thereby covering himself with snot. Corrected by William Bergquist
  7. Right before the grandma (Doris Roberts) faints due to the squirrel, Eddie's kids are on the brink of laughing before the scene cuts. Everyone is supposed to be scared. Everyone might be scared at first, but once over the initial shock, kids could easily find the adult's panic amusing. Corrected by Grumpy Scot
  8. When Clarke is hiding the gifts in the attic, he finds an old pink one but the shot later, it is blue. Actually, it starts out as grey, then Clark blows the thick layer of dust away, and reveals the blue wrapping paper underneath the dust. Corrected by Twotall
  9. When Rusty drops the reindeer on the lawn, the legs break off the one closest to him but later all the deer are intact until Clark loses it and beats them up. There is a significant time that passes from when Rusty drops it to when Clark "loses it." There is no reason he couldn't have glued everything back on. Corrected by Zwn Annwn
  10. When Clark is sliding on the saucer, he shoots out a shower of sparks when he crosses the street. Those old saucers were made of aluminum,and aluminum can't create sparks like other metal does. Clark is extremely anal and a bit of a geek.given he's using his experimental lubricant, he's probably using a special saucer too. Corrected by MovieGuy
  11. Throughout the movie there is an Advent Calendar that is opened from time to time, revealing what day of December it is. However, in the scene where the grandmothers are sitting in the den and one of them is decorating a gingerbread house, they are watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which takes place in November. The grandmothers are watching a Christmas parade that takes place in Chicago; the announcer states that a parade float in a previous parade had knocked the 3rd floor windows out of the Marshall Field's Department Store. Marshall Field's doesn't have a New York City location so this parade isn't the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  12. When Santa Clause's sled passes in front of the moon at the end, why is the sea so dark? It wasn't in previous shots. Because when the moon is in a shot and they want to see the details on the moon's surface, they have to lower the exposure on the camera, which darkens the sky.
  13. In the original "Vacation" and the "European Vacation" movies, Russ is older than Audrey. In "Christmas Vacation," Audrey is older than Russ. Chevy Chase has said in interviews that the changing of the kids appearance as well as their age in Christmas Vacation was always part of the joke about how Clark forgets his kids names and never knows where they are etc.
  14. We later learn that Eddie's RV makes a lot of noise when driven. How did they ever make it into the Griswald driveway without anyone noticing when they first arrive? Eddie explains later that they "coasted in on fumes"; therefore, no loud engine noise.
  15. When Clark was trapped in the attic and fell through the ceiling in the bedroom, why didn't he just crawl out through the hole he just made onto the bunkbed? It would be impossible for him to fit through - the bed is too close to the ceiling.


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