Illustration for article titled Christmas Vacation: How a Perfect Family Holiday Goes Horribly Wrong

Clark Griswold's only crime is that he wants a perfect family Christmas. He just wants a little too much of it. What could go wrong? The answer is everything.

Christmas Vacationis hands down my favorite Christmas movie of all time. It's 25 years old this year, and this week, Rolling Stone has an excellent oral history on the making of the movie. I watch it with my family almost every year. Maybe I love it because Clark is an absurd caricature of my own father. Or because my own 90-year-old grandmother (who we call Mommo), reminds me of forgetful Aunt Bethany. And almost definitely because every family—even my own—has its version of crazy Cousin Eddie.


The movie perfectly expresses the weird opposing feelings we have at the holidays. On the one hand you get to enjoy it, and on the other you have to get through it, which can sometimes collide to create a perfect storm. And in Clark's case, it certainly did. [Netflix]

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