National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This holiday season, the Griswolds are decking the halls with chaos and laughter, proving family is the greatest gift.

Watch the original version of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation


In the sprawling suburbs of Chicago, where rows of nearly identical houses stand like soldiers in formation, the Griswold family home twinkled with anticipation of the coming holiday season. Clark Griswold, a man whose enthusiasm for Christmas was rivaled only by his knack for inviting disaster, had vowed that this year, of all years, would be different. The previous holidays, marred by a series of comical misfortunes, had become the stuff of family legend. Yet, with the resilience of a seasoned general, Clark plotted his campaign for the perfect family Christmas with the precision of a military operation. It was a quest for redemption, a shot at grasping the elusive idyll that danced in his head like sugarplums. Little did he know, the universe, with its ironic sense of humor, had other plans.

**Chapter 1: The Best-Laid Plans**

Clark stood in the dim glow of dawn, surveying his kingdom from the frosty threshold of his home. The air was crisp, a harbinger of the winter to come, carrying with it the scent of possibilities and pine. Today marked the beginning of Operation Perfect Christmas, a plan so meticulously crafted it was worthy of a heist movie. Ellen, his wife, watched from the warmth of their kitchen, a steaming mug of coffee cradled in her hands, a knowing smile playing on her lips. She had seen this fervor before, the gleam in Clark’s eye that said, “This year will be different.” Yet, she couldn’t help but admire his indefatigable spirit, his unwavering quest to capture the magic of the season.

The first item on Clark’s ambitious agenda was the Christmas tree. Not just any tree, but the Griswold Family Christmas Tree, a symbol of their unity and strength. This year, Clark decreed, they would forgo the soulless commercialism of the tree lot for the authenticity of the wilderness. They would venture into the forest, he announced to his half-awake children, Audrey and Rusty, and cut down their tree, a tradition as old as time itself.

The journey to the hinterlands was an odyssey that tested their mettle. The Griswold family station wagon, a vehicle of questionable reliability, trundled through the snow-covered landscape, an expeditionary force in search of their arboreal Holy Grail. Clark’s optimism was infectious, his cheer unassailable even as they found themselves hopelessly lost, the GPS as confused as they were. “It’s all part of the adventure,” Clark declared, as they navigated through the dense thicket, the wilderness untamed and unyielding.

The quest for the tree became a saga of Homeric proportions. They trudged through knee-deep snow, faced down a cantankerous squirrel, and endured the biting cold, their breaths creating plumes of mist in the frosty air. And then, as the sun reached its zenith, they saw it – a towering behemoth, its branches heavy with snow, a leviathan of the forest. It was, Clark proclaimed with a mixture of awe and triumph, the Griswold Family Christmas Tree.

The tree, however, did not surrender without a fight. Armed only with a saw that seemed woefully inadequate for the task, Clark battled the mighty fir. The children, their initial enthusiasm waning, watched as their father wrestled with the tree, a man possessed by the spirit of the season. With a final, Herculean effort, the tree fell, and the forest echoed with the sound of their victory.

The journey home was a comedy of errors. The tree, strapped to the roof of the station wagon, was a behemoth that dwarfed the vehicle itself. Motorists gawked as the Griswold family caravan made its way through the streets, a spectacle that heralded the beginning of the Christmas season. Upon their return, the true scale of their conquest became apparent. The tree was not just large; it was colossal, a veritable giant that refused to fit through the front door.

Undeterred, Clark summoned every tool at his disposal. The tree, through a combination of brute force and sheer will, was wedged into the living room, where it stood like a sentinel, its topmost branches bent against the ceiling. The operation, fraught with mishaps and misadventures, had been a success. Or so Clark believed.

As the family gathered around the behemoth, Clark, with a flourish worthy of a maestro, prepared to trim the tree. The first cut into the netting holding the branches in place was the inciting incident. Like a creature awakening from a long slumber, the tree unfurled with explosive force, its branches expanding with a violence that sent ornaments flying and the family scrambling for cover.

In the aftermath, with the living room resembling the aftermath of a minor cataclysm, Clark stood amid the chaos, a look of stunned surprise on his face. Ellen, ever the voice of reason, placed a hand on his shoulder, her smile gentle. “It’s beautiful, Clark,” she said, her voice a blend of amusement and affection.

And so, as the dust settled and the family surveyed their handiwork, the Griswold Family Christmas Tree stood in all its glory, a testament to their resilience, a beacon of their indomitable spirit. It was, despite everything, a symbol of their unity, a monument to the chaos and love that defined them.

The stage was set, the players assembled, and the Griswold family Christmas, fraught with potential disaster and moments of unexpected joy, was underway. Clark, his heart full of hope and his head filled with dreams of the perfect holiday, could not have imagined the adventures that awaited them. For in the heart of the Griswold household, beneath the boughs of their titanic tree, the true spirit of Christmas, with all its messiness and mirth, began to stir.

**Chapter 2: The Great Tree Expedition**

The morning air was crisp, a herald of the winter to come, as the Griswold family prepared for what Clark had billed as an essential Christmas adventure. The quest for the perfect Christmas tree, a Griswold family tradition, was about to take an unforgettable turn. Clark, ever the optimist, envisioned a majestic pine that would stand proudly in their living room, a beacon of holiday spirit and familial unity. Little did he know, the day would unfold with a series of comedic misadventures that would test the patience, resilience, and humor of the entire family.

The journey began with Clark’s declaration at the breakfast table, his eyes gleaming with excitement. “This year, we’re not just getting any tree. We’re going to find the Griswold family Christmas tree,” he announced, spreading a map across the table, the kind rarely used in the age of smartphones. The map was dotted with Clark’s enthusiastic annotations, a maze of potential locations that seemed less like planning and more like a treasure hunt designed by a child.

Ellen, ever the supportive wife but grounded in reality, raised an eyebrow at Clark’s ambitious plan. “Clark, the kids have their hearts set on decorating the tree today. Are you sure we can find the perfect one and get back in time?” she asked, her voice a mix of skepticism and fondness.

Clark’s assurance was swift, a grin spreading across his face. “Absolutely, honey. It’s all part of the adventure,” he replied, his optimism unshaken.

Rusty and Audrey, their teenage children, exchanged looks that mixed dread with amusement. They knew all too well that a simple Griswold family outing could spiral into chaos, but the promise of a memorable family story was too tempting to resist.

The family piled into their station wagon, the vehicle groaning under the weight of winter gear, snacks, and Clark’s boundless enthusiasm. The journey to the countryside was marked by Clark’s off-key renditions of Christmas carols, Ellen’s attempts to navigate without insulting Clark’s sense of direction, and the kids’ resigned acceptance of their family’s unique holiday spirit.

Upon reaching the outskirts of a dense forest, Clark declared, “This is it, the home of the Griswold family Christmas tree.” The forest loomed large, untouched and wild, a stark contrast to the manicured Christmas tree farms they had passed along the way.

The family ventured into the forest, Clark leading the way with a saw in hand, his steps confident yet utterly clueless. They trudged through snow, over logs, and under branches, the perfect tree seemingly just beyond reach at every turn.

Hours passed, the cold seeping through their layers, their breaths visible in the crisp air. The initial excitement had faded, replaced by a collective questioning of Clark’s plan. Yet, Clark’s determination never wavered, his eyes scanning the horizon for the tree that had captured his imagination.

As the sun began its descent, casting long shadows through the trees, the perfect tree finally stood before them. It was majestic, towering, its branches reaching out as if to embrace the weary travelers. The Griswolds stood in awe, the trials of the day melting away in the face of such splendor.

Clark’s victory was short-lived as he realized a crucial oversight – he had forgotten to bring a measuring tape. The tree, though perfect in the wild, was clearly too large for their living room. Undeterred, Clark sawed down the tree, the task far more arduous than he had anticipated, his actions punctuated by comedic slips and near misses that left the family in stitches.

With the tree finally felled, the challenge of transporting it back to the car ensued. The Griswolds, united in their mission, dragged the behemoth tree through the forest, their progress slow but determined. The journey back was marked by laughter, shared looks of disbelief, and the occasional snowball fight, the tree’s size a constant source of amusement and wonder.

As they neared the car, the reality of their situation set in. The tree was not only too large for their living room but also for their car. With typical Griswold ingenuity, Clark secured the tree to the roof, its branches extending comically over the sides, a flag of their misadventure and enduring family spirit.

The drive home was slow, the car and its oversized cargo attracting curious glances and laughter from passersby. But inside the car, the Griswolds shared a sense of accomplishment, their spirits lifted by the absurdity of their quest and the memories they had created.

As they finally arrived home, the tree still towering over their station wagon, Clark turned to his family, a proud smile on his face. “See, I told you we’d find the perfect Griswold family Christmas tree,” he said, his voice filled with pride and a hint of exhaustion.

Ellen, Rusty, and Audrey exchanged amused glances, their affection for Clark evident in their smiles. They knew this was just the beginning of their holiday adventures, but for now, they reveled in the joy of their shared experience, the perfect tree a symbol of their love, resilience, and the undeniable charm of being a Griswold.

**Chapter 3: Lights, Camera, Disaster!**

Clark Griswold stood in the chilly embrace of the late afternoon, a cup of coffee in one hand and a tangled mass of Christmas lights in the other. His breath formed small clouds of steam as he surveyed the front of his house, envisioning a dazzling display of holiday cheer that would be the envy of the neighborhood. “This year,” he murmured to himself, “it’s going to be perfect.”

The ambitious endeavor began with Clark untangling the knotted serpents of lights, a task that proved as Herculean as any faced by the ancient heroes. With each untwisted strand, Clark’s vision of a luminescent wonderland seemed closer to reality. Yet, as daylight waned, the task grew more daunting. The simple act of untangling became a battle of wills between man and light, a dance of frustration under the watchful eyes of dusk.

Ellen, observing from the warmth of the kitchen window, shook her head in a mix of amusement and concern. “Clark,” she called out, stepping onto the porch, “maybe it’s time to take a break. You’ve been at this for hours.”

Clark, with a look of determination that bordered on obsession, replied, “Just one more strand, honey. You’ll see. It’s going to be beautiful.”

Night fell like a curtain, and Clark, now armed with a staple gun and an unwavering resolve, began the arduous process of affixing the lights to the house’s eaves and railings. Each click of the staple gun was a step closer to victory, a punctuation mark in the silent night. The cold bit at his fingers, and the ladder swayed precariously with his movements, but Clark’s spirit was unyielding.

The kids, Rusty and Audrey, emerged from the house, drawn by the spectacle of their father’s endeavor. “Dad, are you sure this is safe?” Rusty asked, eyeing the ladder with concern.

Clark laughed, a sound that carried a hint of delirium. “Safe as houses, Rusty. Now, go get your mother. It’s almost showtime.”

With the final strand in place, Clark descended the ladder, his heart swelling with pride. The family gathered on the lawn, their breath visible in the cold air, anticipation hanging between them like the lights on the house.

“Ready?” Clark asked, his hand hovering over the switch. Nods and murmurs of assent came from his audience. With a dramatic flourish, he flipped the switch.



The Griswold home remained as shadowed and unlit as the sky above, a monument to unfulfilled expectations. Clark’s face fell, the defeat palpable in the sag of his shoulders.

Ellen placed a comforting hand on his arm. “It’s okay, Clark. We’ll figure it out.”

But Clark was already moving, checking connections, flipping switches, his mind racing through potential solutions. The family watched in a mix of sadness and support as Clark’s dream refused to illuminate.

Then, as if by some Christmas miracle, a single bulb on the porch flickered to life. A gasp went up from the family, a beacon of hope in the darkness. Inspired, Clark redoubled his efforts, tracing the line of lights back to the source.

And then, with a suddenness that took them all by surprise, the house exploded in light. Thousands of bulbs blazed into life, casting a glow so bright it seemed to challenge the stars. The Griswold home, a riot of color and brilliance, stood as a testament to one man’s indefatigable holiday spirit.

The family erupted in cheers, hugging each other in the warmth of the glow. Neighbors emerged from their homes, drawn by the spectacle, their faces a mix of awe and envy.

Clark, standing amid his family, his face illuminated by the fruits of his labor, felt a surge of triumph. “I did it,” he whispered, a tear of joy freezing on his cheek.

But the victory was short-lived. From the street came a chorus of car horns, as blinded drivers navigated the suddenly day-bright neighborhood. Then, with a pop and a fizzle, the lights dimmed and died, plunging the Griswold home back into darkness. A blown fuse, the inevitable climax to Clark’s overambition.

The family stood in silence, the cold creeping back into their bones. Yet, amid the disappointment, there was laughter. For even in failure, there was a story to be told, a memory made. Clark wrapped his arm around Ellen, and together, they led their family back into the warmth of their home, the darkness outside belied by the light within their hearts.

In that moment, Clark realized that the beauty of Christmas wasn’t in the perfection of plans or the brilliance of lights. It was in the shared experience, the collective embrace of family amid the chaos of the season. And with that thought, Clark Griswold smiled, the taste of victory bittersweet on his lips.

Chapter 4: The Arrival of the In-Laws

The frost-kissed morning dawned quiet over the Griswold household, a deceptive peace that belied the whirlwind of activity set to engulf their home. Clark, with a mixture of anticipation and dread, watched the winter sun rise, painting the sky in hues of pink and orange. Today, the in-laws were descending upon their home for the Christmas festivities, each set with their own peculiarities and expectations.

Ellen, in her infinite wisdom and foresight, had begun the preparations long before the first light had crept through the curtains. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingled with the scent of pine from the overly ambitious Christmas tree standing in the living room—a tree that still seemed to mock Clark with its sheer size and the saga of its acquisition.

The first to arrive were Ellen’s parents, the Clarksons. Art, a man of few words, communicated mostly in grunts and nods, carrying with him an air of quiet judgment. Frances, on the other hand, made up for her husband’s silence with a never-ending stream of advice and observations, particularly on Ellen’s culinary choices and housekeeping. Their arrival was punctuated by Frances’s sharp critique of the lawn decorations, which, according to her, lacked a certain “je ne sais quoi.”

No sooner had the Clarksons settled in, the Griswold clan heard the unmistakable rumble of the Smiths’ old station wagon. Clark’s parents, Clark Sr. and Nora, were a stark contrast to the Clarksons. Where Art and Frances brought a chill that rivaled the December air, Clark Sr. and Nora brought warmth and an almost childlike excitement for the festivities. Nora, with her arms full of homemade pies and knitted gifts, enveloped Ellen and Clark in tight hugs, her laughter filling the room, a soothing balm to the underlying tension.

The house, now teeming with the in-laws, became a cacophony of clashing personalities. Art found his way to the most comfortable armchair, claiming it as his throne for the duration of his stay, occasionally offering monosyllabic commentary on the football game blaring from the television. Frances, meanwhile, had taken command of the kitchen, her voice ringing out with instructions and thinly-veiled criticisms, while Nora, ever the peacemaker, flitted around, diffusing tensions with her infectious cheer and Clark Sr. regaled the children with exaggerated tales of Christmases past.

Clark, attempting to navigate the delicate balance between attending to his guests and clinging to the remnants of his holiday vision, found himself perpetually caught in the crossfire. His attempts to please everyone often ended in comedic missteps, from accidentally toppling the carefully arranged nativity scene to spilling eggnog on Art’s slippers—a feat that earned him a glare that could freeze boiling water.

Ellen, the ever-gracious hostess, maneuvered through these trials with a grace that Clark both admired and envied. Her calm demeanor and strategic interventions, such as redirecting Frances’s kitchen takeover to decorating duties and engaging Art with tactical questions about his favorite football team, kept the household from descending into outright chaos.

As the day wore on, the Griswold household found its rhythm, a chaotic symphony of contrasting characters and traditions blending into a peculiar harmony. The children, oblivious to the adult undercurrents, reveled in the joy of having both sets of grandparents under one roof, their laughter a constant melody that reminded everyone of the season’s magic.

Dinner, a precarious affair under Frances’s critical eye, turned into an unexpected success. Clark Sr.’s stories, now a staple at the dinner table, brought laughter and lightness, thawing the frostiness between the families. Even Art, in a rare moment of conviviality, shared a humorous anecdote from his military days, earning genuine laughter from around the table.

In the end, as the families congregated in the living room, bellies full and hearts warmed by the wine and good cheer, Clark looked around at the motley crew that was his family. The room was a mess, the schedule was off-kilter, and nothing had gone according to plan. Yet, amidst the imperfections and the pandemonium, there was an undeniable feeling of togetherness and love.

It was in this moment, surrounded by the idiosyncrasies and quirks of their blended family, that Clark and Ellen shared a knowing look—a silent acknowledgment of the beautiful disaster that was their Christmas. For all the planning and aspirations, it was the unexpected moments, the spontaneous laughter, and the shared memories that truly defined their holiday spirit.

As the night drew to a close, and the in-laws retired to their respective corners of the house, Clark and Ellen stood in the quiet aftermath, a sense of accomplishment and contentment settling over them. The arrival of the in-laws, with its trials and triumphs, had unwittingly woven a new layer into the rich tapestry of their family’s Christmas tradition.

In the heart of their home, amidst the chaos and clutter, the spirit of Christmas thrived, fueled by love, laughter, and the peculiar charm of the Griswold family holiday.

**Chapter 5: Eddie’s Surprise Visit**

The Griswold household was a frenzy of activity, a chaotic symphony of holiday preparations that somehow managed to teeter on the brink of disaster without ever fully plunging into it. Clark, in a moment of respite, stood admiring the tangle of Christmas lights he’d wrestled onto the roof, a hot cup of coffee in his hands, steam curling into the cold December air. It was in this rare moment of tranquility that the rumble began—a sound faint at first but growing steadily louder, an ominous harbinger of the chaos to come.

The source of the disturbance soon revealed itself: a battered RV, its sides festooned with a bizarre array of decorations that suggested a perpetual holiday confusion, barreled down the street. It coughed and sputtered in protest, a mechanical cry of exhaustion, before finally rolling to a stop directly in front of the Griswold residence. The driver’s door creaked open, and out stepped Cousin Eddie, clad in a leopard-print bathrobe that clashed spectacularly with the holiday season.

Clark’s heart sank. Eddie’s visits were always unexpected and invariably complicated. Yet, as Eddie approached with a grin that threatened to split his face in two, Clark couldn’t help but muster a smile. Family was family, after all, especially during the holidays.

“Eddie!” Clark greeted, his enthusiasm tinged with a palpable sense of dread. “What a… surprise!”

Eddie clapped Clark on the back, nearly sending him face-first into the snow. “Clark, my man! We were in the neighborhood, thought we’d drop by for the holidays!”

The term “neighborhood” was generous, considering Eddie’s last known address was several states away. But before Clark could inquire further, the RV disgorged its inhabitants: Eddie’s wife, Catherine, their two children, Rocky and Ruby Sue, and a large, slobbering dog named Snots, who immediately set about terrorizing the Griswold family cat.

As the newcomers made themselves at home, Clark caught Ellen’s eye, her expression a mix of amusement and horror. They both knew their meticulously planned Christmas was about to be derailed in spectacular fashion.

Eddie wasted no time in spreading his unique brand of holiday cheer. He regaled the family with tales of their recent adventures, each more improbable than the last, while Snots wreaked havoc, overturning furniture and inhaling holiday treats with a voracity that was almost impressive.

Clark, ever the gracious host, attempted to steer Eddie away from the chaos and toward a more constructive activity. The outdoor Christmas decorations, a source of pride and frustration for Clark, seemed a perfect diversion.

“Say, Eddie, how about you help me with the lights?” Clark suggested, a note of desperation creeping into his voice.

Eddie’s eyes lit up. “Sure thing, Clark! I was an electrician’s assistant for a week back in ’76. Learned everything there is to know.”

Clark’s doubts were immediate and profound, but options were scarce. Together, they ventured into the fray, untangling wires and replacing bulbs, their breaths visible in the cold air, their progress slow but steady.

The afternoon waned, the sky painted in hues of pink and orange, when disaster struck. Eddie, atop a rickety ladder, managed to cross the wrong wires, sending a spectacular shower of sparks into the air. The ensuing blackout was immediate and total, plunging the neighborhood into darkness.

Silence reigned for a moment, broken only by Eddie’s sheepish chuckle. “Might’ve crossed the wrong wires there, Clark.”

Clark could only sigh, the weight of the holidays pressing down upon him. Yet, as he looked around at his family and the unexpected guests, a sense of warmth filled him. The true chaos of Christmas, he realized, wasn’t about lights or decorations or even meticulously laid plans. It was about family, in all its messy, unpredictable glory.

With a laugh, Clark clapped Eddie on the back, the frustration of the moment melting away in the face of genuine affection. “Come on,” he said, “let’s go inside. I think we’ve had enough holiday excitement for one day.”

And as they retreated into the warmth of the Griswold home, the laughter of their family echoing in the crisp winter air, Clark knew that this Christmas, like all the others, would be unforgettable. Not because of the perfection he sought, but because of the perfect imperfection of family, the unexpected joy of togetherness, and the love that bound them all, even in the face of the most spectacular disasters.

Chapter 6: The Christmas Shopping Fiasco

The sun had barely crested the horizon, casting a soft, golden glow over the slumbering city as Clark Griswold prepared for battle. Not the kind waged with swords and shields, but one far more daunting: last-minute Christmas shopping. The mission was simple—retrieve the handful of gifts that had eluded him thus far—but in the trenches of holiday retail, simplicity was a luxury as rare as an honest politician.

Clark’s first challenge was the parking lot, a vast, frozen tundra where the unwary shopper could wander for hours, searching in vain for a spot. He circled like a hawk, eyes narrowed, until he spotted a car pulling out. With the precision of a seasoned pilot, he swooped into the space, narrowly beating a minivan driven by a harried-looking woman who gestured rudely at him. Clark, ever the optimist, gave her a cheerful wave and a wish of “Merry Christmas!” that was drowned out by the sound of her horn.

The mall was a cacophony of jingle bells and consumerism, decked in enough lights to be seen from space. Clark navigated through throngs of shoppers, each moving with the urgency of someone trying to outrun their shadow. He consulted the crumpled list in his pocket, a roadmap to madness scrawled in Ellen’s neat handwriting: a video game for Rusty, a doll for Audrey, and various odds and ends for the extended family.

His first stop was the electronics store, a beacon of blinking lights and beeping gadgets. Clark was immediately swallowed by a crowd gathered around the latest gaming console. He spotted the video game Rusty wanted on a shelf, just out of reach. Summoning his inner gymnast, Clark stretched, fingertips grazing the box, only for it to be snatched away by a teenage boy with reflexes honed by years of video gaming. Clark’s polite “Excuse me, I believe I saw that first,” was lost in the sea of noise, the boy already lost in the crowd.

Undeterred, Clark pressed on. The doll Audrey had requested was rumored to be sold out across the state, but hope, that eternal ember, flickered within him. He arrived at the toy store to find chaos reigning supreme. Shelves were pillaged, parents argued over the last action figure, and a chorus of crying children provided a soundtrack to the madness. There, in the eye of the storm, was one lone doll, perched precariously on a high shelf. Clark’s heart leaped. This was it, his Holy Grail.

He made his way to the shelf, dodging a runaway shopping cart and a toddler on a sugar high. With the agility of a cat, he scaled the lower shelves, reaching for the doll. His fingers brushed the box, victory within grasp, when a voice boomed through the store, announcing the last-minute sale on the season’s hottest toy. A tidal wave of shoppers surged toward him, and in the chaos, the doll was knocked from its perch, sailing over Clark’s head and into the waiting arms of a grandmother who clutched it like the crown jewels.

Defeated but not yet broken, Clark found himself swept along to the checkout, where he stood in a line that snaked around the aisles. Time seemed to stand still, the minutes stretching into eternity. He struck up a conversation with the man in front of him, a fellow lost soul seeking redemption in the form of a last-minute gift. They exchanged war stories of Christmases past, finding solace in their shared misery.

Finally, Clark reached the front, his arms laden with consolation prizes. As he paid, a flirtatious saleswoman winked at him, her holiday cheer a bit too spirited. “So, found everything you were looking for?” she asked, her voice dripping with saccharine sweetness.

Clark mustered a smile. “Almost everything,” he admitted, thinking of the doll and the video game that got away. “But there’s always next year, right?”

With a hearty “Merry Christmas!” that felt more like a battle cry, Clark Griswold exited the mall, his spirit bruised but unbowed. He had ventured into the heart of holiday shopping and emerged relatively unscathed, his sense of humor intact.

As he drove home, the events of the day replayed in his mind, each misadventure a testament to the trials of the season. Yet, beneath the frustration and folly, there was a glimmer of something more, a reminder of the joy and madness that danced hand in hand during this most wonderful time of the year.

Clark Griswold didn’t get everything on his list that day, but he returned to his family with stories to share, laughter to spread, and a renewed appreciation for the true spirit of Christmas. And perhaps, in the end, that was the greatest gift of all.

Chapter 7: The Eve of Disaster

Christmas Eve dawned crisp and bright over the Griswold household, a veneer of peace that belied the turmoil brewing within. Clark, ever the optimist, had envisioned this day as the culmination of his efforts, a harmonious celebration of family and festivity. Yet, as the morning unfurled, it became apparent that the day would be anything but.

The kitchen was the epicenter of chaos. Ellen, with the help of her mother and Clark’s mother, attempted to orchestrate a symphony of culinary preparation. The turkey, a behemoth that barely fit in the oven, was the centerpiece, surrounded by an ambitious array of side dishes. Clark, meanwhile, flitted between helping with decorations and entertaining the increasingly restless assembly of relatives.

As the day progressed, minor mishaps began to accumulate like snowflakes in a blizzard. The twins, Audrey and Rusty, bickered incessantly, their quarrels punctuated by the arrival of more family members, each bringing their own peculiar brand of holiday cheer. Cousin Eddie, ever the source of unpredictability, decided to contribute to the festivities by parking his dilapidated RV next to the Griswold’s immaculate front yard, much to Clark’s chagrin.

The living room, decked with all manner of festive adornment, became a battlefield of passive-aggressive comments and thinly veiled criticisms between the in-laws. Clark’s attempts to mediate only seemed to fan the flames, leaving him to wonder if his idyllic Christmas was but a mirage.

As evening approached, the tension reached a crescendo. The unveiling of the turkey, anticipated as the crowning glory of the feast, ended in disaster. Clark, carving knife in hand, pierced the bird’s skin only to have it deflate with a pitiful hiss, leaving a charred and inedible carcass. The family’s reaction was a symphony of groans and incredulous laughter, a moment so absurdly tragic that Clark couldn’t help but join in the laughter, albeit with a twinge of despair.

The dinner progressed in a manner that could only be described as surreal. Eddie, ever oblivious to social cues, regaled the table with inappropriate anecdotes, while the elder Griswolds engaged in a heated debate over a decades-old family grievance. The children, sensing the adults’ distraction, engaged in a covert food fight, which culminated in a particularly well-aimed Brussels sprout striking Clark’s sister-in-law in the eye.

It was then that the tree, a majestic spruce that Clark had so proudly procured, chose to make its own contribution to the evening’s disasters. A forgotten water heater, hidden among the gifts, short-circuited, sending sparks flying into the dry needles. The fire was small and quickly extinguished, but not before the tree was rendered a charred skeleton, a poignant symbol of Clark’s failed aspirations.

The culmination of the evening’s disasters came in a moment of unexpected clarity for Clark. As he stood amidst the wreckage of his perfect Christmas, a sense of calm descended upon him. It was as if the universe, in its infinite wisdom, had conspired to strip away the trappings of the holiday, leaving only the raw, chaotic beauty of family. In that moment, Clark understood that the true essence of Christmas lay not in the perfection of its celebration but in the imperfection of its participants.

Yet, just as this epiphany began to take root, a knock at the door heralded the final blow to Clark’s faltering spirit. It was a delivery man, bearing not the anticipated envelope containing Clark’s Christmas bonus but a large, ornate basket. Within it lay not the promise of financial relief but a year’s subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.

The absurdity of the situation, the culmination of his thwarted efforts, unleashed a torrent of frustration in Clark. His tirade, a masterpiece of comedic rage, was a release valve for the day’s pent-up emotions. As his family looked on, a mixture of shock and amusement on their faces, Clark vowed to take matters into his own hands, to confront his boss and demand what he was owed.

Thus ended the eve of disaster, not with the peaceful serenity Clark had envisioned but with a chaotic blend of love, laughter, and lunacy. It was, in its own bizarre way, a perfect celebration of the Griswold family spirit, a testament to their ability to endure, to find joy in the midst of calamity. And as the clock struck midnight, signaling the arrival of Christmas Day, Clark couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation. For in the heart of chaos, there lay the potential for miracles, and who was to say what the morrow might bring?

Chapter 8: The Revelation

The Griswold household lay in a state of disarray, the aftermath of a Christmas Eve that had spiraled into chaos. Decorations lay in tatters, the remains of the Christmas turkey were strewn across the kitchen after its less-than-spectacular implosion, and the scent of charred pine still lingered from the brief but memorable life of their oversized Christmas tree. Yet, amidst the wreckage, Clark Griswold harbored a glimmer of hope, a beacon in the storm: his anticipated Christmas bonus.

Clark had built the entirety of his Christmas masterplan on the foundation of this bonus. It was the keystone of his holiday cheer, the financial windfall that would not only remedy the extensive expenditures but also validate his efforts to provide an unforgettable Christmas for his family. As the family matriarch, Ellen, attempted to salvage what she could of their festive spirit, Clark stood by the mailbox, his breath forming clouds in the frosty air, his heart racing with anticipation.

The moment of truth arrived in a nondescript envelope, one among many in the day’s mail. Clark’s hands trembled as he tore it open, his family gathering around, drawn by the magnetic pull of potential joy or disaster. The silence was palpable, the kind that precedes storms and other acts of God.

“Clark, what is it?” Ellen’s voice was a mix of hope and apprehension, a mirror of her husband’s emotions.

Clark couldn’t speak at first. He merely stared at the document in his hands, his brain refusing to process the information. When he finally found his voice, it was a whisper, strained and disbelieving.

“It’s… a subscription. To the Jelly of the Month Club.”

The words hung in the air, absurd and cruel. A Jelly of the Month Club. Not the substantial cash bonus he had been promised, but a year-long supply of jelly. Clark’s laughter was hollow, a release valve for the mounting pressure of disbelief and indignation. The family stared, unsure whether to laugh or cry.

“This has to be a joke,” Ellen said, a hand reaching out to steady her husband, whose face had taken on the pallor of someone who had seen a ghost.

But it was no joke. The letter was clear, embellished with corporate well-wishes and hollow sentiments of appreciation. Clark’s dreams of a joyful Christmas, of financial relief, had been dashed with the insensitivity of a corporate gag gift.

In the hours that followed, Clark’s mind raced through a spectrum of emotions. Humiliation, anger, despair—they all took their turn at the helm. The laughter of his family, forced and tinged with discomfort, did little to pierce the fog of his dismay. Yet, it was within this tempest of feeling that a plan began to form, a plan as outrageous as the situation that necessitated it.

Clark would confront his boss, Frank Shirley. He would demand an explanation, a rectification of this gross oversight. The idea was ludicrous, born from the desperation of a man with nothing left to lose. Yet, as Clark outlined his plan to Ellen, a spark of something like hope—or perhaps it was madness—gleamed in his eyes.

The night was cold, a blanket of snow muffling the sounds of the world outside. Clark, cloaked in determination and a heavy winter coat, set out. Ellen’s pleas for reason fell on deaf ears. This was a matter of principle, of justice. Clark Griswold would not be made a fool of.

The journey to Frank Shirley’s opulent home was a blur, the details lost to the singular focus of Clark’s mission. He arrived unannounced, uninvited, and, thanks to a series of comedic mishaps that included dodging security systems, climbing trellises, and a rather unfortunate encounter with a decorative reindeer, wholly unnoticed.

Clark’s confrontation with his boss was anything but conventional. It began with a tirade, a venting of every frustration, every disappointment. But as the words flowed, as the absurdity of his situation became apparent, the tone shifted. What started as a demand for restitution became a plea for understanding, a call for the recognition of the human element in corporate decision-making.

Frank Shirley, caught in the midst of his own holiday celebration, was initially indignant, then bemused, and finally, surprisingly, empathetic. The sight of his employee, disheveled and passionate, railing against the injustices of a faceless corporation, struck a chord. The absurdity of the situation, the genuine distress in Clark’s eyes, prompted a reflection on the true meaning of the holiday season.

It was a moment of unexpected clarity, a bridge built over the chasm of corporate hierarchy. Frank Shirley, moved by the spirit of Christmas and the genuine plea of a man who simply wanted to provide for his family, made a decision that would restore not only Clark’s faith in humanity but also the Christmas spirit that had been so lacking in his home.

The resolution of Clark’s daring venture was as unexpected as the venture itself. He returned home not as a conquering hero, but as a man humbled by the power of sincerity and the unexpected kindness of others. The Christmas bonus was reinstated, not as a gesture of obligation but as an acknowledgment of worth.

As Clark stood before his family, the tale of his adventure unfolding in the warmth of their living room, the absurdity of the situation gave way to laughter, genuine and healing. The Griswold family Christmas, teetering on the brink of disaster, was saved not by grand gestures or extravagant gifts, but by the simple act of standing up for one’s beliefs, by the unexpected generosity of a perceived adversary, and by the unwavering support of a family united by love and the enduring spirit of the holiday season.

Chapter 9: A Christmas Miracle?

The night air was crisp, a silent observer to the tumult that had unfolded within the walls of the Griswold residence. Clark stood in the living room, remnants of what should have been a joyous Christmas Eve scattered around him. The mood was somber, the air thick with disappointment and unspoken grievances. It was in this moment of despair that Clark found himself clutching the envelope, the harbinger of his latest misfortune, a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.

Ellen watched her husband, the myriad of emotions playing across his face. She approached cautiously, her hand finding his, a silent gesture of solidarity. The children, Rusty and Audrey, exchanged worried glances, unsure how to mend the fractured evening.

Clark’s frustration reached a boiling point. Words tumbled out in a torrent, a mixture of disbelief and indignation at his boss’s thoughtlessness. “A jelly club!” he exclaimed, his voice laced with bitterness. “The gift that keeps on giving the whole year.” His attempt at humor fell flat, the irony too sharp, too raw in the light of their dashed hopes.

The Griswold household had become a pressure cooker, and Clark’s tirade was the valve releasing years of pent-up frustrations. Ellen attempted to soothe him, her voice a gentle caress in the tense atmosphere, but Clark was inconsolable. His dream of a perfect Christmas, of a bonus that would end their financial worries, had evaporated before his eyes.

It was amidst this chaos that Cousin Eddie, ever the unpredictable element, saw a solution. “Clark, ol’ boy,” he said, with a misguided glint in his eye, “why don’t we just go and explain to your boss about the importance of a Christmas bonus?” His suggestion was ludicrous, yet it sparked a fire in Clark, a desperate need to reclaim some semblance of control over his spiraling holiday.

The plan was harebrained at best. Eddie and Clark, fueled by indignation and a dash of holiday spirits, set out into the night, their mission clear yet absurdly unthought-out. They would confront Clark’s boss, Frank Shirley, and demand what was rightfully Clark’s.

The night was a blur of activity, a comedy of errors as Eddie and Clark, more akin to bumbling detectives than avengers of holiday justice, navigated their way to Shirley’s opulent home. The confrontation was anticlimactic, their righteous indignation met with bewilderment and fear as they stood in Shirley’s living room, explaining the woes of the average working man.

Shirley, taken aback by the intrusion but struck by Clark’s impassioned plea, realized the error of his ways. The scene, absurd in its inception, became a moment of clarity. Here was a man, not asking for a handout, but for the recognition of hard work and dedication. Shirley saw in Clark every employee who had ever felt overlooked, his own actions a reflection of a corporate indifference he hadn’t intended to embody.

The ride back to the Griswold home was a mixture of trepidation and triumph. Clark and Eddie, their mission somehow successful, were heroes in their own right, having braved the cold night to stand up for the dignity of the everyman.

As they approached the house, the sight that greeted them was unexpected. The family, once fractured by disappointment and strife, had come together, their differences set aside in the face of adversity. Shirley’s arrival, accompanied by the police (a precaution after Eddie’s overzealous kidnapping attempt), could have been the final blow to Clark’s hopes.

Yet, it was in this moment of potential disaster that the true Christmas miracle occurred. Shirley, moved by the spirit of the season and the genuine love he witnessed within the Griswold family, reinstated Clark’s bonus, adding a generous addition as a gesture of goodwill.

The night ended not with the despair that had threatened to engulf them but with a celebration of true holiday spirit. The Griswold home, once a battleground of holiday mishaps, shone brightly, the earlier chaos giving way to laughter and shared joy. The lights Clark had painstakingly installed, now glowing in the night, symbolized not just his personal victory but the triumph of family, love, and the indefatigable spirit of Christmas.

As they gathered around the tree, voices merging in carols, the Griswolds realized that the greatest gift they had received was each other. The trials and tribulations, the ludicrous escapades, all faded into the background, leaving behind a family united, their bonds strengthened by adversity.

Clark, looking around at the faces of his loved ones, knew that this Christmas would be etched in their memories, not for the disasters that had befallen them but for the miracle of togetherness they had experienced. In the end, the spirit of Christmas had prevailed, not through grand gestures or expensive gifts, but through the simple, profound act of standing together, a family against the odds.

And so, as the clock struck midnight, signaling the arrival of Christmas Day, the Griswold household was filled with the sounds of laughter and the warmth of shared love, a beacon of light in the cold winter night, a testament to the enduring magic of the holiday season.

**Chapter 10: Joy to the World**

In the dim glow of dawn, the Griswold household lay in a peculiar silence, a stark contrast to the cacophony of the night before. The remnants of what was meant to be the grandest Christmas celebration yet were scattered around in a chaotic blend of charred Christmas tree, shattered ornaments, and the faint but distinct aroma of a turkey gone wrong. Clark, sprawled on the couch, his eyes heavy with defeat, couldn’t help but replay the series of unfortunate events that led to this moment. Yet, as the first rays of sunlight pierced through the frosted windows, a glimmer of hope kindled within him.

Ellen, ever the pillar of strength, joined Clark in the living room, her presence a comforting balm to his bruised spirit. Together, they watched in silence as their children, Rusty and Audrey, tiptoed down the stairs, their eyes wide at the sight of the havoc. But instead of disappointment, there was a spark of excitement – a testament to the indomitable spirit of children at Christmas.

The doorbell rang, slicing through the quiet morning like a herald of unforeseen tidings. Clark, with a mix of curiosity and dread, answered. There, on his doorstep, stood his boss, Frank Shirley, flanked by a very bewildered-looking SWAT team. The night’s escapades, involving an ill-conceived kidnapping led by Cousin Eddie, had taken an unexpected turn. Frank, initially furious, had undergone a night of reflection, mostly in the confines of Eddie’s rickety RV. Surprisingly, he arrived not with reprimands but with an apology and a recognition of Clark’s dedication and hard work. In his hand, he held an envelope – the real Christmas bonus Clark had been anxiously awaiting.

As Frank was led inside, the house quickly filled with the returning sounds of family life. The in-laws, despite their initial shock at the morning’s dramatic start, began to rally around the kitchen, drawn by a newfound sense of unity. Eddie, somehow still blissfully unaware of the gravity of his nocturnal adventure, took to preparing breakfast, a task that everyone agreed was best supervised closely.

Clark, envelope in hand, gathered his family and Frank in the living room. With a deep breath, he opened it, revealing not just a generous bonus but a heartfelt letter of appreciation. The room erupted in cheers and hugs, a cathartic release of the tension that had built up. Frank, moved by the scene, offered an additional gift – a professional restoration of their home and decorations, ensuring the Griswold Christmas spectacle would shine brighter than ever.

In the spirit of reconciliation, the family decided to give the Christmas celebration another chance. The air buzzed with energy as everyone pitched in. The damaged decorations were removed, replaced by new ones brought in by Frank’s team. A majestic new tree was set up, standing tall and proud, a beacon of the family’s resilience.

As dusk fell, the house transformed. Lights twinkled like stars, casting a warm glow on the snow outside. Inside, laughter and music filled the air, the earlier discord forgotten, replaced by the joy of togetherness. Clark, standing with Ellen by his side, looked around at the faces of his family, his heart full. In this moment, he realized that the perfect Christmas he had envisioned wasn’t about the spectacle or the gifts but about the love and unity of family. It was about overcoming adversities together, finding joy in the simple act of being with one another.

As they gathered around the new Christmas tree, voices joined in carols, the sound harmonious and heartfelt. The door stood open, inviting neighbors to join in the celebration, spreading the message of peace and goodwill. Clark, looking out at the snow gently falling, felt a profound sense of contentment. The journey to this moment had been fraught with missteps and mishaps, but it had led to a deeper understanding of what truly mattered.

In the end, the Griswold Christmas, once teetering on the brink of disaster, emerged as a testament to the enduring power of family and the unshakeable spirit of the holiday season. It wasn’t just joy to the Griswold world; it was a beacon of hope and happiness, shining brightly in the heart of the suburban night, a reminder that even the most chaotic paths can lead to the most beautiful destinations.

Some scenes from the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation written by A.I.

Scene 1

### Screenplay: “Griswold’s Great Christmas”

**FADE IN:**


A typical suburban house adorned with last year’s faded Christmas decorations, under the bright, hopeful light of early December. CLARK GRISWOLD (40s), enthusiastic and clad in a too-tight Christmas sweater, surveys his domain with a steaming mug of coffee. ELLEN GRISWOLD (40s), pragmatic and patient, joins him, wrapping an arm around his waist.


(to Ellen)

This year, honey, it’s going to be perfect. The most Griswold Christmas ever.



I love your optimism, Clark. Just remember, perfect is a moving target.

A beat passes as they watch their neighborhood awaken, houses free of decorations, the Griswold home a stark contrast.


You’ll see, Ellen. This year, everything’s going to go smoothly.



The Griswold children, AUDREY (16), disinterested and perpetually embarrassed, and RUSTY (14), overly enthusiastic and clad in pajamas that are too small, sit at the breakfast table.


(entering, excited)

Kids, this weekend, we’re kicking things off with the Griswold family tree hunt!



Yes! Just like the pioneers!


(rolling her eyes)

Do we have to? Can’t we just get one from the lot like normal families?


(normal voice, then grandiose)

We could… but where’s the tradition in that? No, we’re going to find the biggest, most beautiful Christmas tree in the wild. Just like our forefathers!

Ellen enters, placing her hand on Clark’s shoulder, a look of shared amusement and concern with Audrey.


(to Clark)

Just promise me we won’t need a saw the size of the house this time.



No promises, but I’ll try.

The family shares a look, a mix of excitement and dread, setting the tone for the chaos to come.



Clark loads shovels, saws, and ropes into the back of their overstuffed family station wagon. The car is comically overloaded, with camping gear and winter clothing spilling out. The family piles in, Clark at the helm with a determined grin.


(to the family)

Alright, Griswolds, let’s make this Christmas one for the history books!

The car backs out of the driveway, holiday tunes blaring, as the family embarks on their misadventure, the camera zooming out to show the chaotic yet hopeful start of their journey.


This opening scene sets the stage for the Griswold’s comedic and heartwarming holiday quest, filled with the promise of family bonding, festive disasters, and the unyielding spirit of Christmas optimism.

Scene 2

**Title: “Griswold’s Great Tree Expedition”**

**FADE IN:**


A crisp winter morning. The Griswold family stands outside their home, dressed in oversized winter gear. Clark, overly enthusiastic, clutches a saw. The kids, AUDREY and RUSS, shiver, less than thrilled.



Alright, team! Today, we embark on a timeless family tradition. The quest for the Griswold Christmas tree!



Can’t we just get one from the lot like normal families?


Where’s the adventure in that? No, we’re going to find the biggest, most beautiful Christmas tree in the wild!



The Griswolds trudge through snow. Clark leads with exaggerated confidence. The wilderness is vast and undisturbed, a sea of trees under a blanket of snow.


Dad, are you sure you know where we’re going?


Absolutely, son! It’s all about the experience, the bonding with nature.

Clark stops suddenly, causing a domino effect. They all tumble into the snow. Laughter follows, breaking the tension.



They stand before a field of potential Christmas trees. Clark’s eyes sparkle with ambition.



There! That’s the one!

The camera pans to reveal an absurdly large tree, towering over the others.


Dad, that won’t even fit in our living room!


Nonsense! A little trim here, a little trim there… it’ll be perfect!



Clark saws at the base of the tree with comedic effort, sweat dripping. Audrey and Russ exchange amused glances. Finally, with a dramatic TIMBER, the tree falls. They cheer.



See? What did I tell you? The perfect Griswold family Christmas tree!



The tree, comically too large, is strapped atop their car, extending several feet front and back. Neighbors watch, bewildered, as the Griswolds arrive home, victorious.


(coming out, astonished)

Clark, what on earth…


Behold! The symbol of our family’s Christmas spirit!

The tree is a ridiculous sight, but the family stands together, united in this quirky tradition, a sense of accomplishment in their shared adventure.



Scene 3

**Screenplay Title: “Griswold’s Lights Out”**

**FADE IN:**


A suburban home overly decorated with Christmas lights and decorations. CLARK GRISWOLD (40s), enthusiastic and wearing an ugly Christmas sweater, stands on a ladder, putting the finishing touches on his extravagant display. ELLEN GRISWOLD (40s), supportive yet skeptical, watches from the porch.


(With grandiosity)

Behold, the Griswold family Christmas lights extravaganza!



Let’s just hope the neighborhood survives it this year.

Clark descends the ladder, beaming with pride. He holds a dramatic, oversized switch connected to the lights.


Gather ’round, family! This year, we’ll outshine the sun!

RUSTY (15) and AUDREY (13) join their parents, less enthused and more embarrassed.


(Whispers to Audrey)

Ten bucks says it’s a bust.


(Whispers back)

You’re on.

Clark raises the switch high. The neighborhood seems to hold its breath.



Three… two… one…

He throws the switch. Nothing happens. The house remains dark, the neighborhood silent.



That’s impossible!

He frantically flips the switch back and forth. Still, nothing.



Pay up, Rusty.



Honey, it’s okay. We can fix this.

Clark’s face falls. Then, determination sets in.


No, Ellen. The Griswold family Christmas lights will shine. I’ll make sure of it.



Clark, covered in snow and tangled in lights, is on the roof. Ellen, Rusty, and Audrey watch from the ground, now wrapped in blankets, sipping hot cocoa.


(Yelling down)

Okay, I’ve checked every bulb! Let’s try this again!

He slides down the roof, nearly falling, and lands next to the switch. He takes a deep breath and flips it.

Suddenly, the entire house lights up, illuminating the neighborhood in a blindingly bright light. The family cheers. Neighbors come out of their houses, shielding their eyes.



Yes! I did it!

Suddenly, the lights flicker and go out. A loud pop is heard. The neighborhood is plunged into darkness.



Well, at least it was beautiful for a moment.



And there goes the neighborhood power.

Clark stands in the darkness, defeated but not deterred.



Tomorrow, we fix the power grid. The Griswold Christmas lights will shine again!

The family gathers around Clark, laughing and joking as they head back into the house.


This scene encapsulates the comedic essence of the Griswold family’s Christmas preparations, setting the stage for the subsequent humorous challenges they will face.

Scene 4

**Screenplay Title: “Griswold’s Folly”**

**Scene: Chapter 4 – The Arrival of the In-Laws**


*The living room is festively decorated, albeit with some quirks like the oversized Christmas tree that barely fits. CLARK is nervously straightening decorations. ELLEN is in the kitchen, visible through an open doorway, preparing snacks. There’s a palpable tension as they anticipate the arrival of their parents.*


(to himself)

Everything needs to be perfect. It’s going to be a great Christmas.

*Suddenly, the doorbell rings. CLARK rushes to the door, smoothing his sweater. He opens the door with a wide, somewhat forced, smile.*



Merry Christmas!

*Standing at the door are ELLEN’s parents, ART and FRANCES, and CLARK’s parents, CLARK SR. and NORA. They enter, each carrying dishes and gifts, bringing in a cold gust of wind and a flurry of snow.*


(looking around)

Clark, did you mean to have the tree blocking half the TV?

*CLARK laughs nervously.*


It’s all about the ambiance, Art.

*NORA, holding a pie, looks around the room, her nose wrinkling slightly.*


Oh, Clark, it looks… festive. Did you check those lights for safety?

*ELLEN comes in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel.*



Mom, Dad! You made it. Let me help you with those.

*She takes some dishes from FRANCES, who looks around with a critical eye.*



Ellen, dear, are you sure this room is big enough for everyone?

*Everyone starts talking over each other, offering backhanded compliments and passive-aggressive concerns about the decorations, the food, and the space. CLARK tries to maintain his composure and holiday spirit amidst the growing cacophony.*


(loudly, over the noise)

How about some eggnog, huh? Let’s get cozy!

*The chatter calms down a bit at the mention of drinks. CLARK heads to the kitchen, and the parents follow, still murmuring among themselves. The camera pans over the living room, highlighting the comedic contrast between the chaotic family dynamics and the overly festive, yet somehow charming, holiday decor.*

**CUT TO:**


*The kitchen is bustling as CLARK attempts to play the perfect host, pouring eggnog. The parents sit around the kitchen island, still offering their “helpful” advice and comments. ELLEN supports CLARK, trying to steer the conversation towards positive topics.*


(raising his glass)

To family, may this Christmas bring us closer together!

*Everyone raises their glasses, murmuring agreements. There’s a moment of peace.*


(under his breath)

If we survive it.

*The camera zooms in on CLARK and ELLEN sharing a knowing look, bracing themselves for the holiday chaos to come.*


Scene 5

**Title: “Holiday Havoc”**

**Genre:** Comedy

**Chapter 5 Adaptation: “Eddie’s Surprise Visit”**


*The Griswold family is in the midst of a chaotic but cozy evening. CLARK is trying to salvage a moment of peace amidst the loud chatter of relatives. The doorbell RINGS, slicing through the cacophony.*



Who could that be?

*Clark walks over and opens the door to reveal COUSIN EDDIE, in a garish holiday sweater, grinning ear to ear, standing beside his wife CATHERINE and their two kids, ROCKY and RUBY SUE.*


(with open arms)

Merry Christmas, Clark! We decided to surprise you!

*Clark is visibly shocked, a forced smile creeps onto his face.*



Eddie! What a… surprise!

**CUT TO:**


*The room has somehow become even more crowded and chaotic with Eddie’s family’s arrival. Eddie holds a cheap BEER, regaling everyone with exaggerated stories. Clark pulls Eddie aside for a private word.*



Eddie, where are you guys staying?



In the RV, Clark. Parked it right out front. It’s our home on wheels!

*Clark looks out the window to see the dilapidated RV, a comic contrast to the festive house.*



Of course, you are.

**CUT TO:**


*Clark is trying to find extra bedding. Eddie ambles in, beer in hand.*


You know, Clark, this is shaping up to be the best Christmas ever!


(under his breath)

Yeah, unforgettable.


And don’t worry about the little mishap with the RV’s sewage system. I’ll have it fixed in no time!

*Clark looks horrified, imagining the worst.*

**CUT TO:**


*The family settles in, trying to find sleeping spots among the chaos. Clark lies on the couch, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Eddie’s snoring reverberates from a nearby recliner. Clark lets out a deep, resigned sigh.*


(whispering to himself)

Happy holidays, Clark.

*The camera PANS OUT, leaving the house bathed in twinkling Christmas lights, the snoring a soft counterpoint to the festive scene.*


Scene 6

**Screenplay Title: “Griswold’s Christmas Gambit”**

**Scene: Chapter 6 – The Christmas Shopping Fiasco**


*The mall is bustling with holiday shoppers. CLARK GRISWOLD, mid-40s, enthusiastic but often bumbling, navigates through the crowd, a list in one hand, determination in his eyes. He’s on a mission.*


*(muttering to himself)*

Alright, Clark. In and out. We can do this.

*He stops abruptly, causing a minor collision with a harried SHOPPER behind him.*


Hey, watch it!


*(turning, apologetic)*

Oh! Sorry, sorry. Merry Christmas!

*He dashes into a store, filled with holiday decorations and gifts.*


*Clark scours the shelves, picking up items, inspecting them, and putting them back. He spots a SALESPERSON, 20s, bored but trying to look helpful.*


Excuse me, do you have the TurboMan action figure?

*The Salesperson barely suppresses an eye roll.*


You and everyone else, buddy. Sold out weeks ago.

*Clark’s face falls. He’s visibly deflated but rallies quickly.*


Okay, plan B. How about the Yodeling Pickle?

*The Salesperson points towards a crowd near the back.*


Last one’s over there, but good luck.

*Clark’s eyes narrow, determined. He heads towards the crowd.*


*The crowd is thick, but Clark spots the Yodeling Pickle on a high shelf. As he makes his way through, he sees a WOMAN, mid-40s, determined and fierce, eyeing the same prize.*


*(under his breath)*

Not today, Clark. That pickle is yours.

*They reach for it at the same time, their hands touching. A moment of comedic tension.*



I saw it first.


Actually, I believe we saw it simultaneously. But, it’s Christmas, so…

*He tries to let go, but the woman tightens her grip.*


It’s for my son. He’s… been through a lot.



Mine too. Well, not really, but he really wants this. Tell you what—

*Clark spots another shopper with a Yodeling Pickle in their cart, unattended. He gets an idea.*

**CLARK** *(CONT’D)**

Hold that thought.

*He dashes off, returning moments later with another pickle.*

**CLARK** *(CONT’D)**


Look! Another one!

*The woman is surprised but grateful.*



Thank you. Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas.

*Clark looks at the pickle, then to the woman, realizing the true spirit of the season. He hands his pickle to her.*

**CLARK** *(CONT’D)**

Here, take this one too. A backup, just in case.

*The woman is taken aback, moved.*


Thank you. Really.

*Clark nods, feeling a warm glow of goodwill.*


It’s what Christmas is all about, right?

*He walks away, leaving the woman smiling after him, holding two Yodeling Pickles.*

**CUT TO:**


*Clark exits the store, empty-handed but fulfilled, merging back into the holiday crowd, humming a Christmas tune.*


Scene 7

**Title: Christmas Chaos at the Griswolds**

**Genre: Comedy**


*The room is festively decorated but crowded and tense. The disastrous Christmas Eve dinner has just concluded, with the charred remains of the turkey being cleared away. CLARK GRISWOLD, a well-meaning but often misguided patriarch, tries to salvage the evening. His wife ELLEN, their kids, AUDREY and RUSTY, and the extended family, including the obnoxious COUSIN EDDIE, are all present.*


*(Trying to be cheery)*

Well, who’s ready for some good old-fashioned Christmas caroling?

*Silence. The family exchanges glances.*


*(Softly, to Clark)*

Maybe we should just call it a night, honey.


*(Obliviously enthusiastic)*

I’ll go grab my harmonica!

*Audrey rolls her eyes. Rusty is texting, uninterested.*



In my day, we were thankful to even have a tree.


*(Correcting him)*

Art, stop. You grew up in a condo.


*(Desperate to keep spirits up)*

Okay, okay, how about we all share our favorite Christmas memories? That’ll cheer us up!

**The suggestion is met with more silence. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. Clark, hopeful for a distraction, rushes to answer it. It’s their NEIGHBORS, TODD and MARGO, looking more annoyed than festive.*


Clark, your lights are causing a blackout on the entire block again.



Oh, geez, not again…



Merry Christmas, Clark.

*Clark closes the door, turning back to the chaotic scene in his living room. Just then, the Christmas tree they spent so much effort to put up spontaneously combusts, sending everyone into a frenzy.*


*(Exasperated, trying to douse the flames with a nearby tablecloth)*

Great! Just great!


*(Rushing to help)*

I’ll get the fire extinguisher!

*In the midst of the chaos, Aunt BETHANY, who is quite old and a bit senile, starts singing “Silent Night” off-key, oblivious to the surrounding pandemonium.*


*(Singing loudly)*

Silent night, holy night…

*One by one, amidst the disaster, the family members stop what they’re doing and start to laugh, looking around at each other. Clark stops, looks at his family laughing and singing along with Aunt Bethany, and can’t help but join in, his earlier frustration melting away.*


*(To Ellen, smiling amidst the chaos)*

This might just be our best Christmas yet.


*This scene captures the essence of the Griswold family Christmas: chaotic, disastrous, but ultimately filled with love and laughter, reminding us that perfection isn’t necessary for a memorable holiday.*

Author: AI