“I don’t know what to say, but its Christmas, and we’re all in misery.” — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989.
As a child, Christmastime, was anything but miserable for me. My two-week vacation from school was spent listening to my parents’ Christmas LPs (I’m dating myself), eating and making Christmas baked goods, and devouring my Mom’s homemade “Nuts and Bolts”. I also watched a ton of Christmas themed shows/movies. Now, as an adult (and a parent), there are a lot more responsibilities during that winter break that can sometimes overshadow the joy of the season. One way to rekindle/retain that holiday joy, whether you’re a teen or an adult, is to check out some of WPL’s fabulous selection of Christmas movies/TV shows. Here are a few of my favorites:
Home Alone – I saw this movie in the Grant Park Theatre on New Year’s Eve 1990. It was the only time that I can ever remember sitting in the front row. It was worth it. It tells the story of Kevin McCallister, who is accidentally left at home during the holidays, when his entire family take a trip to Paris. He is left to defend his home against two very persistent burglars, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The soundtrack to the movie is instrumental, (no pun intended) in setting the mood for this hilarious movie, including such classics as: Carol of the Bells, O Holy Night, and White Christmas.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – The combination of family dysfunction and a fantastic cast including: Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki, make this is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, is counting on his Christmas bonus to purchase an in-ground pool for his family. The problem is that he’s already put a down payment on it, and with December 25th closing in, his holiday stress level is through the roof. Combine that with both sets of parents staying at his house for the holidays, and you’ve got a recipe for some great comedy.
Prep and Landing – This animated short came out the year my daughter was born. It reignited my Christmas spirit, so to speak, like nothing had in years. It tells the story of Wayne, an elf. He is part of an elite team of elves who prep homes for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. Wayne is passed over for a promotion to Director of Naughty List Intelligence and given a new rookie partner, after his old partner gets the job he so desperately wanted. It’s one of those animated shorts that contains just as much content for adults as it does for children.