If you thought you had the quirkiest seasonal decorations or the biggest decorating dilemmas, the Griswold family might just prove you wrong. One look at the Griswold family Christmas Tree, in the third installment of National Lampoon’s vacation series, makes our little Christmas tree quirks and seasonal issues seem like a walk in the park in comparison.In the 1989 film, when long-time Chicago Resident Sparky Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) decides it’s time to set up a family Christmas tree, he piles the family into the trusty station wagon and heads out to the countryside, where he finds the “perfect” Christmas tree.
Growing apart from the other trees, basking in an angelic glow of light, Sparky stumbles across the majestic pine and declares it the perfect tree for the family that year. “But dad,” says the young son, “that tree wouldn’t even fit in our yard.”
“It’s not going in our yard, Russ,” Sparky says. “It’s going in our living room.”
The tree–an icon of seasonal Hollywood Christmas laughs– is just the first of a series of unfortunate events the Griswolds will endure that holiday season. Sparky’s overdeveloped sense of holiday spirit leads to a surfeit of Christmas lights in the house–and a power outage for the city of Chicago.
The tree, of course, is at the root of the problem–and at the heart of the Christmas spirit.