Movie Date: December 1, 1989
"It's that time Christmas time is here "Everybody knows There's not a better time of year "Hear that sleigh." "Gonna make this holiday As perfect as can be "Just wait and see This Christmas vacation. "This old house Sure is looking good "Got ourselves the finest snowman In the neighborhood. "Ain't it fun? "Always on the run That's how it's done "On Christmas vacation. "Let's all deck the halls "And light the lights "Get a toasty fire "Burning bright. "Give Saint Nick "The warmest welcome That he's ever had "We're so glad it's Christmas vacation. "And when the nights "Are peaceful and serene "We can cuddle up And do our Christmas dreamin'. "Peace and joy and love "Are everywhere "You can feel the magic in the air. "Let the spirit of the season Carry us away "Hip, hip, hooray For Christmas vacation." That was beautiful, honey. Take it, Russ. Dad, can you explain again what we're doing? We're kicking off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas... ...by heading out to the country in the front-wheel drive sleigh... ...to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape... ...and select that most important of Christmas symbols. We're not driving way out here so you can get one of those stupid ties... ...with the Santa Clauses on it, are we, Dad? No, I have one of those at home. What we're looking for today is the Griswold family Christmas tree. - What's the matter? - Some jackass is riding my tail. Slow down and let him pass. Don't provoke them. Hey, kids. Look, a deer! Clark! Slow down! You want to ride behind somebody like that? I'm going to pull around them... burn some dust, here. Eat my rubber. Dad, I think what you mean is, "Burn rubber" and "Eat my dust." Whatever, Russ. Eat my road grit, liver lips! That's enough of that. Speaking of Christmas trees, can one of you tell me... ...what the first kind of tree displayed at the White House was? They're back. Stop it! I don't want to spend the holidays dead. Honey, please. I'll do the driving, okay? Will you just take it easy? I'm in complete control. I'll get around this egg timer. Uh... Dad?! We're all right! Thank God! Clark, we're stuck under a truck! Do you honestly think I don't know that?! Come on, you guys. Don't fight. For Christ's sake, I didn't do this on purpose. Our Father, who art in heaven... ...hallowed be Thy name. And forgive my husband. - He knows not what he does. - Amen! We made pretty good time. Dad, didn't they invent Christmas tree lots... ...so people don't have to drive way out to nowhere and waste a Saturday? They invented 'em... ...because people forgot how to have a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. They're satisfied with scrawny, dead, overpriced trees with no special meaning. My toes are numb. This is what our forefathers did. I can't feel my leg. They walked out into the woods, picked out that special tree... ...and they cut it down with their bare hands. Mom, I can't feel my hips. - Clark? - Yes, honey? Audrey's frozen from the waist down. That's all part of the experience, honey. There it is. The Griswold family Christmas tree. Isn't it a little big? It's not big, it's just full. That thing wouldn't fit in our yard. It's not going in our yard, Russ. It's going in our living room. - Look at it. - It really is beautiful, Clark. - It's something else, huh, Russ? - Yeah, Dad. Isn't it a beaut, Audrey? She'll see it later, honey. Her eyes are frozen. The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in... ...the warm embrace of kith and kin. This tree is a symbol of the spirit of the Griswold family Christmas. Did you bring a saw? Looks like the toad overestimated the height of his ceiling. Hey, Griswold! Where will you put a tree that big? Bend over and I'll show you. You got a lot of nerve talking to me like that. I wasn't talking to you. Do you think there's enough room for the angel? Sure, honey. I have a little more trimming to do, but that won't be a problem. Ready? I give you the Griswold family Christmas tree. There's a lot of sap in here. It looks great. A little full. A lot of sap. Did I tell you I talked to my mother today? They've decided they're coming for Christmas, too. It's not too late to change our plans... No, no, that's great. I think you're forgetting how difficult it's gonna be... ...having everybody in the house at the same time. They're family, not strangers off the street. All they do is argue. Christmas is about resolving differences... ...and seeing through the petty problems of family life. And it's about my mother accusing your mother of buying cheap hot dogs. And your mother accusing my mother of waxing her upper lip, and... ...then they don't speak to... - Your mother waxes her upper lip? She has for years. It doesn't show. I don't know, Sparky, I just have this feeling it's not... I want to have Christmas here, in our house. It means a lot to me. All my life I've wanted to have a big family Christmas. It's just that you build things up in your mind, Sparky. You set standards no family event can ever live up to. When have I ever done that? Parties. Weddings. - Good night, honey. - Anniversaries. Funerals. Holidays. Vacations. Graduations. Guess you'll be lookin' at a nice fat Christmas bonus this year, huh? Word is you're an excellent choice to be named... ...Food Additive Designer of the Year. - Nah... - I'm not kidding. What's that new thing you got over there at Food 'N' Dry? The crunch enhancer? That's a non-nutritive cereal varnish. It's semi-permeable. It's not osmotic. What it does is, it coats and seals the flake. It prevents the milk from penetrating it. Yeah, it's a beautiful product. I like it. What are you gonna do with that big bonus check? You're gonna blow it on yourself, I hope. Me? Heck, no. Take a look at this. I just hope my Christmas bonus check will cover it. Oh, my God. You're putting in a pool. I went ahead and I put a $7,500 deposit down on it. You're the last true family man. Mark. Clark. That's Bill, sir. Are you the one who's working on that non-nutritive cereal varnish? Yes, sir. I've got to give a speech to a trade group. I'd like to mention it. Write up a brief summary and have it to me by the end of the day. My pleasure. Layman's terms. None of that inside, bullshit jargon that nobody understands. Yes, sir. Oh, Mr. Shirley... We got your Christmas card the other day, and... ...my family and I are very flattered that you remembered us. Corporate cards. Don't forget that report, Bill. Yes, sir. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah. Can I show you something? I was just smelling... smiling. I was blouse... browsing. For your wife or girlfriend? What? What happened? I guess it wouldn't be any... It wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season... ...if the stores were any less hooter than they... Hotter than they are. It is warm in here. - When you have your coat on. - Do I? - How did that happen? - Because it's cold out. Yes. Yes. It is. It's a bit nipply out. I mean, nippy out. What am I saying? Nipple? There is a nip in the air, though. Can I take something out for you? I was just, uh... I was looking at something for my wife. God rest her soul. Oh, God, I'm so sorry. Oh, no, no, she's not dead, yet. We're just divorced. She's history. Obviously, she doesn't wear underwear... ...there are plenty of shopping days left until adultery... adulthood. Which is to say, Christmas, as in Yule. Yule log. Not a log. I don't have a log, but I mean, you know... ...if I had a log. Not in the sense you think I said I did. Good golly. 'Tis the season to be merry. Well, that's my name. No shit. These are cut really high on the hip. Look, I'm wearing something similar. See? You can't see the line. - You can't see the line, can you, Russ? - No. Look, Daddy, teacher says every time a bell rings... ...an angel gets his wings. Folks! Merry Christmas. Look how big you've gotten. Merry Christmas. Mom. Knock on the door. Doesn't Nora look old? You promised, you promised... They took a pint of fluid out of my lower back. You see this mole? This mole on my neck? You think it's changing color? No. You keep touching it. It's getting redder. I got hemorrhoids. Could you believe that? - Oh, Mother. - Isn't that terrible? - You're not getting the space... - After what you did to my car? I'm doing the parking. Come and help me with the... Mom, they're not sleeping in my room. I'm gonna go crazy... Sweetheart, your grandma Nora's got a real painful burr on her heel. If you rub it for me, I'll give you a quarter. - A quarter. - And I'll give Audrey a quarter, too. I'm going to put my car in the garage! I'll park the cars. This is what Christmas is all about. I'll park the cars and check the luggage, and... I'll be outside for the season. We'll have the best-looking house in town. I've always wanted to do this. That's a lot of lights, Dad. I'm sure it's a lot of work, but if I'm out in the cold... ...and I'm committed to decorating the house... ...I'm gonna do it right and I'm gonna do it big. You want something you can be proud of, don't you? Yeah, I guess so. Sure you do. You think you might be overdoing it, Dad? Russ, when was the last time I overdid anything? Come on, unravel these. You have to check every bulb. A little knot here. You work on that. I'll get the other box. I hope he falls and breaks his neck. I'm sure he'll fall. But I don't think we're lucky enough to have him break his neck. Let's go. These gusty winds appear to be playing havoc with the giant nutcracker float. At this point, I can't even see the nuts. They must have blown away. But nothing is going to dampen the spirit of this holiday crowd, I can tell you that. Oh, here they are. Here come the nuts. Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel? Can we at least forbid them to answer the phone? Alexander called this morning and Grandpa Clark told him... ...I couldn't come to the phone 'cause I was going to the bathroom. We're all making sacrifices, Audrey. Everybody? Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is? I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic. I have nightmares about what he does in bed alone when I'm not lying next to him. I don't know what to say except it's Christmas... ...and we're all in misery. Ellen, are you smoking again? No! Dad, where do you want these reindeer? Just put them on the lawn, Russ. I can't find the Santa Claus. It's in the basement. We'll get it later. Clark? Dinner's ready. Okay, honey. I'm starving. Obviously something broke the window. Something hit the stereo. And why is the carpet all wet, Todd? I don't know, Margo. You wanna hurry this up, Clark? I'm freezing my baguettes off. Two hundred and fifty strands of lights, ...for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights. Twenty-five thousand. I hope nobody I know drives by... ...and sees me standing in the yard, staring at my house in my pajamas. If they know your dad, they won't think anything of it. Fire it up! I dedicate this house to the Griswold family Christmas. Drum roll, please. Drum roll. "Joy to the world." Beautiful, Clark. Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was. He worked really hard, Grandma. So do washing machines. Let's get in where it's warm. Clark, baby, I can picture it in my mind and it's breathtaking. Thanks, Mom. It's probably a bad bulb. You know, if one goes out, the whole thing won't work. If I were you, I'd personally check each one. I did that, Dad. If you need any help, give me a holler. I'll be upstairs asleep. I'm sorry, Daddy. It looks good, even if they're not lit. Thank you, sweetheart. Well, Dad, it was a good try. Thanks, Russ. We checked every bulb, didn't we? I'm sure of it. Maybe we ought to go up there and just... Geez! Look at the time. I have to go to bed. Brush my teeth, feed the hog. I still got some homework to do, do the laundry, wash the car... Don't stay up too late. Get off me, you little fungus. Where the hell is that cold coming from? - I need just a few more... - Pay by check, if you can. - Not a card? - No, it's a hassle if you have to return. Help! Daddy. Is Clark coming? How the hell would I know? Is he in the house? If he's not farting around with the lights, he must be. I'm sure he wants to come shopping and have lunch with us. He's got another car. He can drive. I have to eat so I can take my back pill. I want to take off these clothes, sit with a glass of wine... ...and kiss every inch of your body. - After you shower, of course. - Of course. - Sparky? - Yes, honey. Are you out here for a reason, or are you just avoiding the family? I still have a couple hundred more bulbs to check. Meantime, I can light the Santa... ...and the eight tiny reindeer and the "Merry Christmas" sign. That should look good. Ready? Want me to do the drum roll thing? No, it's okay. Here goes nothing. I don't understand it. The house lights don't work, the floodlights don't work. Is it plugged in? Do you think I would check thousands of tiny lights... ...if I wasn't sure the extension cord was plugged in? You used more than one cord, didn't you? Maybe the kids have been fooling around with it. I'll check in the back. Clark! - Todd! - Sorry! Honey, I think I know what's wrong. I can't see! This ought to do it. I fixed it! Everybody! Come out quick! Look at the lights! - Get a towel. - Okay! Wait a minute! I don't believe this. What's all that yelling about? What's going on here?! Twenty-five thousand twinkle lights. What's he doing? I haven't the foggiest. What the hell?! What is wrong with this?! Damn it! You goddamn thing! Dad, it's beautiful! Oh, my carpet! Clark, it's so lovely. You deserve a home like this to spend Christmas in. It's a beaut, Clark. A beaut. You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination. Thank you, thank you. Russ. Audrey. Dear... Francis. I hope this adds to your enjoyment of the holidays. It's just wonderful. Arthur. Art. Dad. Thanks for being here. The little lights are not twinkling. I know, Art, and thanks for noticing. The house sure does look swell, Clark. Thanks, Eddie. I hope it enhances your holiday spirit. Dear Catherine. Eddie? The house is gorgeous, Clark. Eddie? I hope you didn't do this all on our account, Clark. Kids, come on out here and see what Uncle Clark's done to the house. Eddie? Eddie? If you don't remember, this here is Rocky. - Have you got a kiss for me? - Take a rain check on that, Art. He's got a lip fungus that ain't identified yet. You remember Ruby Sue? Oh, my gosh! Her eyes are not crossed anymore. That somethin', ain't it? She falls in a well, her eyes go cross. A mule kicks her, they go back to normal. I don't know. And this here is our pride and joy. Snots. Pretty name. We named him that 'cause he's got this sinus condition. Snots, you roll over and let Uncle Clark scratch your belly. You never seen a set on a dog like this one's got, Clark. That's okay, Eddie. That's somethin', ain't it? You pet him on the belly... ...and he'll love you till the day you die. I really shouldn't. My hands are all chapped. We were going to call, but Eddie wanted to make it a surprise. You surprised? Surprised, Eddie? If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet... ...I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now. We have plenty of room. Plenty of towels. Plenty of everything. We're pretty well set up here in the RV. It's a little tight but... ...we didn't come to impose. There's plenty of room. Quit being so damn polite, Ed. Catherine and I are pretty comfy in there, but maybe you folks wouldn't mind... ...the youngsters shacking up with you. After that long drive... ...we could use a little private time together. Honey, why don't you get the kids' things. Don't forget the rubber sheets and gerbils. I'll show you the home. That's a honey of a tree, Clark. Is it real? I dug it out of the ground myself. Is that a fact? Get out of there, Snots! Don't worry about it. A little tree water ain't gonna hurt him. Before we left, he drank a half a quart of Pennzoil. He lifted his leg the next mornin'... If he drinks the water out of there, the tree's gonna dry up. Come on out of there. Get out of there. Go in the kitchen and get something to eat. He's cute, ain't he? Only problem is, he's got a little bit of Mississippi leg hound in him. If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town. You don't want him around if you're wearing short pants. A word of warning, though. If he does lay into you, it's best to just let him finish. I can't believe you're actually standing here in my living room, Eddie. Never thought the day would come. I'm excited about it, too. It's a cryin' shame the older kids couldn't make it. I'll get that. Don't worry about it. It's okay. I got the daughter in the clinic getting cured off the Wild Turkey. The older boy, bless his soul, is preparing for his career. - College? - Carnival. You gotta be proud. Last season, he was a pixie dust spreader on the Tilt-O-Whirl. He thinks that maybe next year, he'll be guessing people's weight... ...or barking for the Yak Woman. - You ever see her? - No. She got these big horns growing right out above her ears. She's ugly as sin, but a sweet gal. And a hell of a good cook. Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead? No, I'm doing just fine. Just glad to be here. When did you get the tenement on wheels? Oh, that? That's an RV. I borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV. It's a good-looking vehicle, ain't it? It looks so nice parked in the driveway. It sure does. Don't you go falling in love with it. We're taking it with us when we leave here next month. Get Ed Leftic up here to look over these figures! Retooling. That's a great excuse. Retooling?! I'll retool you! Mr. Shirley, Merry Christmas. Who's that? It's me, Clark Griswold. What do you want? My wife and I just came up with a little something special. It's a gift. Put it over there with the others, Greaseball. By the way, I hope my report helped out at the trade show. I'm sure it did, Grisball. If you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of an important call. Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting. This is a new non-caloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant... ...my company's been working on. It creates a surface 500 times more slippery than cooking oil. We'll fly down the hill with this stuff. Has anyone ever used it on a sled? Not that I know of. Don't go puttin' none of that stuff on my sled, Clark. - You know the metal plate in my head? - How could I forget it. I had it replaced. Every time Catherine raved up the microwave... ...I'd piss in my pants and forget who I was. Over at the V.A., they had it replaced with a plastic one. That ain't as strong, so... I shouldn't go sailing down a hill... ...with nothing between the ground and my brain... ...but a piece of government plastic. You really think it matters, Eddie? The plate runs right underneath my part. Over here is nothing, but... ...if this gets dented, then my hair just ain't going to look right. I know the feeling. I better try this first. See how it works. Be careful there, Clark. Nothing to worry about, Eddie. Going for a new, amateur-recreational- saucer-sled land-speed record... Clark W. Griswold, Junior! Remember, don't try this at home, kids. I am a professional. Later, dudes. Let her rip. Hang ten. It's great! I'm dead! Bingo. - You're staying late? - Hi, Bill. Yeah. Just... ...finishing up a few things. Last day of the year for me. Have a really Merry Christmas. You, too. You okay? Yeah. Bill, did you get your bonus yet? Just talked to my son. Company messenger just brought something to my house. Nothing like waiting till the last minute, huh? You get yours? If it isn't at the house, I'm sure it must be on its way. If I don't get that bonus, I'm in it up to here. Don't sweat it. It'll come. Merry Christmas. Same to you. "'Mele Kalikimaka' is the thing to say "On a bright Hawaiian "Christmas day. "That's the island greeting "That we send to you From the land "Where palm trees sway. "Here we know that Christmas "Will be green and bright "The sun to shine by day "And all the stars at night. "'Mele Kalikimaka' is Hawaii's way "To say 'Merry Christmas' to you." Santy Claus? Uncle Clark, are you Santy Claus? What? What? You scared me. No, I'm not Santa Claus. I wish I was. What are you doing up, sweetheart? Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous because Christmas is almost here. Nervous or excited? Shittin' bricks. You shouldn't use that word. Sorry. Shittin' rocks. Him's nervous because he don't know if he's gettin' nothin'. I don't think he should be nervous, and you shouldn't be, either. 'Cause if you're good, Santa knows it. If you believe in him and in your mom... ...and you believe in... ...your dad... ...and you've been good all year round, Santa Claus will bring you something. Sometimes I think all that Santa crap is just bull. If he was so real, how come we didn't get squat last year? We didn't do nothin' wrong and we still got the shaft. Well, I happen to know for a fact that Santa Claus is real. And in the next couple of days... ...somehow, I'm gonna prove it to you. Every year, he comes to our house. I've seen him. It's true? Cross my heart. It's a good idea you came to stay with us. I love it here. You don't gotta put on your coat to go to the bathroom. And your house is always parked in the same place. I think you better go back to bed, now. Okay. How come you ain't sleeping? I was looking for something. You didn't notice if a man came here and delivered a letter today, did you? Nope. How come? Just wondering. Now you get back to bed. Come here. Are you sure you ain't Santy Claus? I'm sure. I can't even afford to be an elf. I had two containers of K-rations... two containers... ...and I had Spam until it was coming out of my ears! Aren't you having any breakfast? No. Not in the mood. What are you looking at? The silent majesty of a winter's morn. The clean... ...cool chill of the holiday air. An asshole, in a bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer. The shitter was full. Have you checked our shitters, honey? Clark, please. He doesn't know any better. He ought to know it's illegal. It's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it. Merry Christmas. The shitter was full. I have this suspicion that Catherine and Eddie don't have presents for their kids. Rocky said Eddie told him Santa Claus wasn't coming this year. Ruby Sue said the same thing last night. How can they have nothing for their kids? He's been out of work for almost seven years. In seven years he couldn't find a job? Catherine says he's been holding out for a management position. So, how's the live bait business? I can't complain. How you doing? Not that good, actually. Your company kill off all them people in India not long ago? No, we missed out on that one. You're pretty set so far as shopping goes? Well, I can't lie to you, Clark. The truth is, things ain't goin' too good at all. You know I told you I borrowed the RV from a neighbor? It's mine. We live in it. I had to sell off the house, the barn, the ten acres... All I kept was a 50-foot plot, the pigs and the worm farm. If I only had back the money me and Catherine sent that TV preacher... ...that was screwin' the hockey players. What about the kids? His kids can fend for themselves. Your kids. That's the bitch of it. I don't know what to do. We coasted into town on fumes. The gas money give out in Guerney. Ellen and I want to help you give the kids a nice Christmas. No, Clark, I couldn't do that. We insist. No, I'm not one for charity. I know that, Eddie. This isn't charity. It's family. I don't know about that. Now, come on, if you don't tell me what they want, I'll get it on my own. This is a surprise, Clark. This is a real nice surprise. Just a real nice surprise. Here's a list. Alphabetical, starting with Catherine. If it wouldn't be too much, I'd like to get something for you, Clark. Something really nice. Is your house on fire, Clark? No Bethany, those are Christmas lights. Don't throw me down, Clark. I'll try not to. Is this the airport? We're here! Me and Bethany figured out the perfect gift for you. Uncle Louis, you didn't have to buy me anything. Damn it, Bethany, he guessed it. That was fun. I love riding in cars. When did you move to Florida? Are you still dating Clark? You know you shouldn't have done that. Oh, dear. Did I break wind? Jesus, did the room clear out, Bethany? Hell, no. She means presents. You shouldn't have bought presents. It isn't every day somebody moves into a new house. They didn't move into a new house. In the living room. This house is bigger than your old one. Is Rusty still in the Navy? Why don't you go into the living room and say hello to everybody? Hello, everybody! I should say it? - Mom? - What? This box is meowing. She wrapped up her damn cat. - Take it in the kitchen. Open it up. - And have a cat running around? We can't leave it in the box. Why would somebody wrap up a cat in a box? She gets confused. She's old. They don't have much money, so she takes things from the house... ...wraps them up, gives them away as presents. Can't wait to see what I got! This one here... ...is leaking. Lime. It's her Jell-O mold. I'll take it, Eddie. Go into the living room and enjoy yourself. Let's go find your sister. Before we begin... ...since this is Aunt Bethany's ...I think she should lead us in the saying of grace. What, dear? Grace! Grace? She passed away 30 years ago. They want you to say grace. The blessing. "I pledge allegiance... "...to the flag of the United States of America... "...and to the republic... "...for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible... "...with liberty and justice for all." Amen. Catherine, if this turkey tastes half as good as it looks... ...I think we're all in for a very big treat. Save the neck for me, Clark. I'm sorry. Why are you crying? I told you we put it in too early. It's just a little dry. It's fine. Here's the heart. Aunt Bethany... Does your cat happen to eat Jell-O? I don't know about the cat... ...but I'm enjoying it. Kids... ...I heard on the news... ...that an airline pilot spotted Santa's sled on its way in from New York. You serious, Clark? Load me up with a little more there. It's good. What's wrong with the dog? He's just yackin' on a bone. He's got it up. He's all right now. Maybe if you wouldn't feed him from the table... No. He's probably just nosing through the trash. If you're not doing anything constructive... ...run into the living room, get my stogie. Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Louis? He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas. He keeps it up, it will be his last Christmas. That should be it. I told you, you had too many plugs in one outlet. What is it? Nothing. Let's go in and finish our dessert. If that thing had nine lives, she just spent them all. If you don't mind, I'd like to try to fumigate this here chair. It's a good quality item. If you don't mind me askin', how much it set you back? Do you smell something? Fried pussycat. It's not the chair, it's some kind of gas coming from the sewer. My tree! So, what's the matter with you? Look what you've done to my tree! It was an ugly tree anyway. At least it's out of its misery. - Dad's gonna flip out. - Nobody's gonna flip out. We're gonna have a wonderful Christmas. What the hell do you want? I have a delivery for Clark W. Griswold. I was supposed to deliver it yesterday... ...but it fell between the seats and I didn't see it. I'm sorry. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. - I can't believe it. - What is it? A letter confirming your reservation at the nuthouse? It's from my company. Your bonus. My bonus. Open it, Clarkie. Open it. I hope it's a fortune. I bet you do. I was afraid... Are you going to bawl all over it, or are you gonna open it? I was gonna wait till tomorrow to tell you all this, but what the heck? With this bonus check, I'm putting in a swimming pool. That's it. That's the big one! Open it! I'm sorry if I've been a little short with everyone lately. I've been waiting for this bonus. To make sure the pool goes in when the ground thaws... ...I had to lay out the money in advance. Until this arrived, I didn't have enough to cover the check. Tear the sucker open, Dad. Drum roll. If there's enough left, I'll fly you all down to help us dedicate it. I can't swim, Clark. I know that, Eddie. What's wrong? It's bigger than you expected? Smaller? What is it? A one-year membership in the Jelly-of-the-Month Club. That's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. That it is, Edward. That it is, indeed. I'm sorry. If this isn't the biggest bag-over-the-head punch in the face I ever got! Goddamn it! Son. It's good. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me... ...I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here, tonight. Brought from his happy holiday slumber on Melody Lane with all the rich people. I want him brought right here... ...with a big ribbon on his head and I want to look him straight in the eye... ...and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten... ...low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed... ...ignorant, bloodsucking, brainless, dickless, hopeless... ...heartless, fat-assed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped... ...worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol? He has that crazy look in his eye. I told you we should have gone to Hawaii. Turn that thing off and get in the house! I'll talk to him, Mom. You know, Dad... ...I've been thinking. Good talk. Aren't you a teeny bit sorry we didn't get a Christmas tree? Even though they're dirty and messy and corny and clichd? Where are you going to find a tree at this hour on Christmas Eve? What's the matter? Was that really necessary? We needed a tree. May I remind you that... That this was all my idea? No, no. I'm well aware of that. Could you just keep it in mind the next time you go berserk? I didn't go berserk. I simply solved a problem. We needed a coffin. A tree. There are no lots open on Christmas Eve. Louis burned down my tree so I replaced it as best I could. Voil... Are you okay? I'm fine, honey. I fixed the newel post. What's that sound? Do you hear it? It's a funny, squeaking sound. You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant. I hear it, too. I don't hear it anymore. Squirrel! What was it? Oh, my God! Quiet! Shut up! Mom, don't move. We can't let it out of the living room. Where's Eddie? He usually eats these goddamn things. Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol. Thank you, Catherine. I'll try and trap it. Russ! We're here, Dad. There you are. Go get the hammer. What do you need a hammer for? I'll catch it in the coat and smack it with the hammer. I'm going in with him. Nora? Is it gone? It probably got scared and ran back into the tree. Squirrel! You just march right over there and slug that creep in the face. I can't just attack someone. All right, then. If you're not man enough to put an end to this shit, then I am. Gone. Oh, my God. What happened to you? Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody walks out on this old-fashioned family Christmas. No, we're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency. We're going to press on and have the happiest Christmas... ...since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat, white ass down the chimney... ...he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. You're goofy. Don't piss me off, Art. - It's over. - Not according to Santa's watch, it isn't. Stay out of this, Dad. Clark, I think it's best if everyone just goes home. Before things get worse. Worse?! How could they get any worse? Look around you, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell! Son. I love you. We all love you. But this is a terrible night. Nothing's gone right. It's a disaster. But losing your temper only makes things worse. You're too good a father to act like this. In years to come, you'll want your family to remember all the love you gave us... ...and how hard you tried to make the perfect Christmas. You just cocked it up. It's okay. It happens. All our holidays were always such a mess. How did you get through it? I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels. I love you. Will you recite "The Night Before Christmas"? No. It's your house. It's your Christmas. I'm retiring. "The children were nestled All snug in their beds "While visions of sugarplums Danced in their heads "And Mama in her kerchief "And I in my cap, just settled our brains For a long winter's nap "When out on the lawn There arose such a clatter "I sprang from my bed To see what was the matter "Away to the window I flew like a flash "Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash "The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow "Gave a luster of midday to objects below "When what to my wondering eyes should appear "But a miniature sleigh..." ...and Eddie. And a man in his pajamas with a dog chain... ...tied to his wrists and ankles. What the...? Stay here. Merry Christmas, Clark. You about ready to do some kissin'? Officer, it seems my husband has been abducted. The man was wearing a blue leisure suit... ...and the plates were from Kansas. He was a huge, beastly, bulging man. I have never been treated like this in my life. I'm sorry. This is our family's first kidnapping. You're fired. Where's the phone? I'm calling the police. Just hold your wad there, fella. Clark had nothin' to do with this. This here was my idea. All right. He's still fired and you are going to jail. It was my fault. I lost my temper when I got my bonus and I said a few things I shouldn't have. Bonus? How did you get a bonus? I cut out bonuses this year. Thanks for telling us. I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club. In 17 years with the company, I've gotten a bonus every year, but this one. You don't want to give bonuses, fine! When people count on them as part of their salary... What you did just plain... Sucks. Thank you, Russ. My cousin-in-law, whose heart is bigger than his brain... I appreciate that. ...is innocent. I'll be more than happy to take the rap on this... ...on behalf of myself and every other employee you rear-ended this Christmas. Sometimes things look good on paper, but... ...lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. A healthy bottom line doesn't mean much if... ...to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It's people that make the difference. Little people, like you. So, Carl... ...whatever you got last year... ...add 20 percent. Go away, Todd. If you want to come in, you are gonna have to break down the goddamn door! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Freeze! Not you! Them! This way, please. I think you've made a terrible mistake. I told you to freeze, mister. May we blink? - Thank God you're all right. - I'm fine. I'm just fine. There was a big misunderstanding tonight. Excuse me. Would you and Mrs. Shirley like to step outside so we can finish here? - Don't bother. I'm not pressing charges. - What? It was a mistake. Mistake? Honey, you were kidnapped. I did something I shouldn't have... ...and these people called me on it. This is Clark Griswold and his family. Welcome to our home. What's left of it. Release B Squad. What's going on here? Remember how I was toying with the notion of suspending Christmas bonuses? You didn't. Of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck! That's pretty low, mister. If I had a rubber hose... I changed my mind. I'm reinstating all the bonuses. Look! Look! It's Santy Claus. Uncle Clark, it's Santy Claus. It's the Christmas star. And that's all that matters tonight. Not bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees. See, kids... It means something different to everybody. Now I know what it means to me. That ain't the frigging Christmas star. It's the light on the sewage treatment plant. Sewer gas. Don't drop that! "And the rocket's red glare "The bombs bursting in air "Gave proof through the night "That our flag was still there "Oh, say does that "Star-spangled banner yet wave "O'er the land of the free "And the home of the brave?" Play ball! Merry Christmas, Sparky. Merry Christmas, honey. I did it.