National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party Ideas

How To Host a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party

If you have ever wanted to host a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party, you have come to the right place.

This is always in the conversation when the greatest Christmas movie of all time is being discussed. It is hilarious, but it also has a lot of heart too!

Having your Christmas party be themed around this yuletide classic is an awesome idea and today we are looking at ways you can pull this off.

Christmas Decorating Griswold Style

Here we are looking at ways you can make sure your house is Griswold Christmas party ready.

You will find some fun ideas to decorate the old homestead so you can throw a fun old-fashioned family Christmas just like Clarke wanted to do.

Dressing For The Occasion

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Cousin Eddie Costume via Amazon

If you want everyone to get into the spirit of your National Lampoon’s Christmas Party theme, suggest that people can dress the part if they want to.

Not everyone will be up for this so do not make it mandatory. However, having people come dressed as Clarke, Ellen, or of course, Cousin Eddie in his bathrobe is sure to put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.

Having A Christmas Tree Is A Must

Ok, we are not saying that you need to head out into the woods and cut down a tree that is way too big for your house!

However, the tree was a huge part of the Griswold décor so make sure your tree is in a prominent place for all to see.

Decorating the tree just like in the movie would be great. However, just make sure it is bright, full of decorations, and that no dogs are drinking the water from underneath it if you have a real tree!

Related: Hilarious National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Decorations

A Squirrel In The Tree

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Plush Flying Squirrel

Sticking with the tree for a minute one way people will know that this is a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party when they look at the tree is if you hide a squirrel in it.

Now you may get lucky if you have a real tree and there is a stowaway squirrel living in it… or actually, that would probably be very unlucky!

Anyway, you can get a cheap plush squirrel from somewhere like Amazon or even the dollar store. Hide this in the tree and people who see it are sure to get a real kick out of it.

Presents Under The Tree

Have presents under the tree, even if they are just for show. You can actually buy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation wrapping paper these days.

Aunt Bethany’s Deep Fried Cat!

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LED Lighted Fried Cat Via Amazon

One of the classic scenes in the movie is when Aunt Bethany’s cat gets fried by the Christmas tree lights. A fun bit of décor for the house would be you either making or printing this out and having it lay on the floor near the tree.

Those who love the movie are going to think that this is pretty awesome.

The Griswold Family Lights!

No one is going to expect you to light up your home the same way that Clarke Griswold did.

However, you certainly want to make sure that there are lights as part of your party décor as this was a major scene in the movie.

Christmas Vacation Backdrop for Photos

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Christmas Vacation Backdrop

Clark Griswold Life Size Cutout for Photos

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Clark Griswold Standup

Quotes From The Movie

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Christmas Vacation Wooden Sign @ Amazon

Having banners with quotes on them around the house is a lot of fun and it is also sure to get people quoting the movie even more than they probably already were.

This is a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party after all.

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Merry Christmas Sign @Amazon

Of course, there are a ton of quotes but the most classic quote of the movie is “Merry Christmas, Sh***er Was Full” having stuff like this over the house is sure to give people a chuckle.

There are a ton of printable quotes to find on the internet.

Griswold Merchandise

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You Serious Clark Banner via Amazon

Having Griswold merchandise in the house for everyone to see is going to be a highlight of your Griswold Christmas party.

Truth be told, it seems like each year there is more and more National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation merch.

This includes party supplies like plates, tablecloths, and even action figures.

Having things like this spread around the house can be a lot of fun.

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Merry Christmas Banner @ Amazon

Screening The Movie

There are a few ways that you can go about this. You can actually have a screening of the movie where you all sit down and watch it together.

Another way you can do it is to have the movie just playing in the background all throughout the party.

If you want to go that extra mile set up a few TVs throughout the house that are playing the movie!

Playing The Christmas Vacation Soundtrack

As Clarke wants to host a fun old-fashioned family Christmas, when it comes to the music you can pretty much just play the classics.

However, the soundtrack from the actual movie is great and it is going to 100 percent help add to your National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party theme.

You can either buy the actual soundtrack or you can just play it from Spotify which is probably your easiest option.

Cooking With The Griswolds

Here we are going to look at some great food and drink ideas for your National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party.

You want your guests to be well fed and even perhaps a little bit tipsy by the end of the night and these are some fun ways in the spirit of the movie that you can do that.

It Has To Be Turkey

Who can forget Clarke cutting open that super dry turkey that Katherine made? Of course, you do not want to serve up a turkey like that to your guests.

However, if you want to really keep in the spirit of the movie, you can actually host a Christmas dinner for the guests like in the movie.

While this is a great idea and if you can pull it off, more power to you.

However, at a party, people like to mingle and snack as the night goes on rather than eating a big meal. In this regard have some turkey strips with a variety of dips that people can take as they want and perhaps having a picture of Katherine next to it will make people see what you were going for.

Aunt Bethany’s Jello With Cereal

Aunt Bethany’s jello was kind of gross, but it was hilarious and some kind of variation on her jello which had cat food in it.

Now, while this is a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party theme we are going for, your guests may not be too thankful if they eat jello with cat food.

What to do is make jello with cereal in it so it looks like it did in the movie. This way people can get a chuckle out of it and it will also taste good. Actually, a good idea is to use Lucky Charms marshmallows in the jello.

Classic Christmas Snacks

As the whole point of the Griswold Christmas party was to have a fun old-fashioned Christmas.

You can actually get away with serving anything that you want as your snacks and nibbles throughout the night.

Classics like mini hot dogs, pigs in blankets, mini pizzas, and that sort of thing.

Food that people can pick up and snack on as they please is always a winner at any Christmas party.

Egg Nog

The scene in the movie with Clarke and Eddie having a discussion over egg nog is hilarious.

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?” is one of the most quotable lines from the movie.

Having a big punch bowl of egg nog is pretty much a legal requirement if you are hosting a National Lampoon’s Christmas party!

It is up to you if the nog is spiked or not. One way you can do this is by having a few choices of alcohol next to the punch bowl this way people can spike their own if they want.

Moose Mugs

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Moose Mug @ Amazon

The awesome moose mugs that are seen in the movie can actually be purchased now.

These can be a little expensive but it would be quite awesome for each guest to have one, it would also make a great little party gift for your guests.

What you could also do is just buy a set of them and have them sitting next to the punch bowl.

Fill them with something decorative like little colored stones so that people can notice them and also know that they are there just for show.

Sodas & Brewskis

You never really saw a great deal of what they were drinking during the movie. The good thing about that is you pretty much have free reign to serve up any kind of soda and alcohol that you want.

Just make sure that you have a good selection and you will be able to keep all your party guests happy.

Actually, the drinks are probably the one area of your National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party theme that is easiest to do as you can do what you want.

Fun Old Fashioned Family Christmas Party Games

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Christmas Vacation Monopoly

The real main event of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party theme is going to be having the movie on at some point during the night.

However, if you want a few fun party game ideas that are in the spirit of the movie and also in the spirit of a classic family Christmas these games are great.

Pass The Parcel Griswold Style

Remember we talked about how you can get Griswold wrapping paper before? Well, wrap some gifts in it and play a fun game of passing the parcel.

You can have gifts based on the movie or just fun and tacky stuff; it is up to you.

A way you can Griswold this up a bit is when the music stops before a player rips off a layer of paper, they have to say a quote or something about the movie.

Christmas Vacation Movie Quiz

Some kind of trivia game is sure to be a big hit. People can play on their own or as teams, it is up to you how you organize it.

The movie is packed with so much awesome trivia that you can run a quiz based on just Christmas Vacation. While that would be awesome, chances are not all guests will be super familiar with the movie.

This means having other Christmas-related questions in the quiz as well will make sure it is fun for everyone and not just the die-hard Christmas Vacation fans.


Another classic Christmas party game is charades. This is always a fun game to play after people have had a few drinks.

You can either buy or write your own cards that have what people have to act out on them.

However, this is a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party theme we are talking about. You will want to make sure that you have plenty of scenes, characters, and so on from the movie in there for people to act out.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party Wrap-Up

The movie shows how a family can drive you crazy during the holiday, but it also shows that family really is what Christmas is all about.

Just make your party as fun as it can be and everyone will have a smile on their face. Perhaps we would be all a little better off if we had at least one Griswold Christmas party to attend each year!

Have fun, stay safe, don’t drink and drive, and remember, Merry Christmas, Shi**er Was Full!

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