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We created the best Christmas Vacation decorations for a party for our movie-theme Christmas Vacation party (Griswold style)! We invited some of our friends to dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters or as one of the characters from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Now if you have seen this movie you know the hilarity of the classic holiday movie. Everything goes wrong throughout the Christmas season, especially Christmas Eve, and just when you think you’ve seen it all it just keeps on getting worse. We had a house full of friends and it was definitely a Christmas Vacation Party: Griswold Style.
Such a FUN evening and a perfect theme for Christmas time. I was surprised how many fans of the movie came to our party. Some people knew way more than me about the movie! Classic movies can make such a great party idea.
Christmas Vacation Decorations
Now let me tell you about the highlight of the party. Do you remember Cousin Eddie who shows up in his RV with his wife and kids? We wanted the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation RV. So I found an RV to rent for the night. As you can see, Cousin Eddie did arrive ; ) We found the perfect “Cousin Eddie RV” and we parked out in front of our house and decorated it with C9 lights. Is that not the best backdrop for a photo background at a Christmas Vacation party?
One tip about Cousin Eddie’s RV is to search the classifieds for RV’s for sale. We found the ugliest and oldest one and contacted the owners to see if we could rent it for the night. We didn’t want to hurt their feelings about their ugly RV. But when I mentioned we wanted to rent it for a Christmas party. She said, “it would be a perfect Cousin Eddie’s RV”! Yes, it would!
They lived fairly close to us and drove it to our home and picked it up a couple of days later. We paid them for the rental. It worked out great for both of us! An easier solution would be to purchase a blow-up inflatable National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation car.
Christmas Vacation DIY Decor Ideas
Here are a few things we did to prepare for this party. I went to the thrift store to find a lot of the decorations and party supplies. I found these perfect 80s-looking Christmas drinking glasses, huge fluffy stockings, and some tacky Christmas decorations and trinkets to add to the whole feel of the party.
On the Christmas stockings, we wrote “Sparky” which is the nickname for Clark and we also wrote Ellen (his wife). They were the perfect food table backdrop. I found that foam deer head (Target) and thought it would add just the right amount of fun to the backdrop. All that was needed after that was the C9 colorful lights strung up above.
For the food table, we strung strings of Christmas lights and taped some pictures that we found on the web of the movie. We also used the sled to display the plates and utensils with a few decorations.
Christmas Vacation movie quotes are known for their silliness and humor. A fun way to display the quotes is to print them out and display them. These were purchased off of Etsy.
Need more ideas for a Christmas vacation-themed tree? Check this out.
Christmas Vacation Movie Moose Mugs
We set our beverage table with festive Christmas glasses and acquired a set of twelve Moose Mugs. If you are familiar with the movie, these Moose Mugs are an iconic part of Christmas Vacation. They are featured in a few scenes of the movie alongside eggnog. To balance costs, we supplemented with 1980s Christmas glasses from a thrift store. Our drink offerings included Egg Nog, a delightful Luscious Slush Punch, water, and steaming Hot Apple Cider.
Christmas Vacation Party Food Ideas
Here’s the yummy Luscious Slush Punch recipe we delighted our guests with at the party. It’s perfect for non-alcoholic gatherings. I first introduced it at a SWAT Christmas party several years back, and even the members of my husband’s team raved about it and requested the recipe.
Christmas Vacation Luscious Slush Punch
1.5 – 2 cups white sugar
6 cups water
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin mix
1 (46 fluid ounces) can pineapple juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
1-quart orange juice
2 (2 liter) bottles Sprite soda (Chilled)
Directions to Make Slush Punch:
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and strawberry-flavored gelatin.
- Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice.
- Cool for a bit. Divide mixture in half, and pour into 2 – freezer bags (gallon size). Lay flat and freeze for at least 24 hours.
- Let sit out an hour (to get a bit soft) before serving.
- When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one bag in a punch bowl, and stir in 1 bottle of Sprite until slushy.
- Keep extra bottles of Sprite around. I might actually prefer 2 1/2 bottles of Sprite per the recipe (instead of 2 bottles).
We prepared Aunt Bethany’s Cat Food, don’t worry we didn’t use real cat food – we used cereal and flavored gelatin. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why only one or two guests tried it. ; ) We used little muffin tins for single servings instead of the bundt pan like Aunt Bethaney used, just to make it easier to eat.
We made “Jelly of the Month Club” which was cream cheese covered with red pepper jelly served up with crackers. I wish I had a picture of that. But pepper jelly served with cream cheese is always a hit at parties.
We served some delicious Shnotz Puppy Chow which was peppermint Chex mix. Cousin Eddies dog is named Schnotz. There is a scene in the movie where Clark purchases months’ worth of dog food for Schnotz because Cousin Eddie loads up the grocery cart with dog food.
For “Where’s the Tylenol?” (Clark was at his wit’s end and needed Tylenol after his rant about his boss) we served white York candy pieces. The package contains blue and white pieces but we just used the white pieces.
Each couple brought an appetizer dish. It is very helpful to ask guests to bring something. It cuts down on the time needed to make all the food and also helps with costs. There were some delicious dips and desserts.
Perfect prop decoration for the food table…
Inflatable Turkey – perfect for a Clark Griswold prop
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Costumes
Part of the fun of a party is when everyone dresses up. And that certainly happened at our party. As I mentioned guests either came in “Christmas Vacation” attire or an ugly sweater. Here are a few ideas below for what to wear to a Clark Griswold party…
Eddie is wearing a mock turtleneck that shows through his sweater.
Looking for Christmas Vacation, “You serious Clark?” pajamas? Perfect gift or matching Christmas pajamas!
My husband and I dressed up for the party. He dressed up in a Santa Suit and a blue dress shirt with a Christmas tie just like Sparky (Clark Griswold). We also attached a squirrel to the back just for the perfect finishing touch. Does he not look like Sparky?
I found a 3D moose that moves and sings (thrift store) and tied that around my red Christmas sweater for my ugly Christmas sweater. I probably should have dressed up as Ellen which is a pretty simple outfit – a white blouse with a Christmas green skirt. It’s super easy to dress up as Eddie. He is wearing a mock turtleneck that shows through his white sweater. Polyester pants and white patent leather loafers finish off the look.
Christmas Vacation Party Ideas
During the party, we had some Griswold activities. Trivia test and the white elephant gift exchange.
We also showed the opening clip from the movie where Clark is driving to go get the tree and he is being an aggressive driver, it was a great chance for all the wives to joke about their husbands.
Remember this Christmas tree scene?
My husband and I dressed up for the party. He dressed up in a Santa Suit and a blue dress shirt with a Christmas tie just like Sparky. We also attached a squirrel to the back just for the finishing touch. Does he not look like Sparky? I found a 3D moose that moves and sings (thrift store) and tied that around my red Christmas sweater for my ugly Christmas sweater.
There was some roll on the floor laughing, FUNNY gifts for the white elephant gift exchange. We had “fish and chips” which were some live fish and Pringle Chips. Check the end of the post to see what ended up happening to those fish.
A pretty unique gift was half-used gift cards, and surprisingly that was a fought-over gift, I opened up a gift with some hotel slippers and was pretty excited about those but of course, when you open a good gift it’s highly likely that it will get taken by someone else.
We gave away one of those singing bass plaques. It was actually wanted by Amy and Ryan
We had a Christmas Vacation Trivia. Our friends Suzy and Tom won the trivia. Their prize was a Moose Mug tree ornament.
They are dressed up as Eddie and Catherine (fun costumes) and are holding their White Elephant Gifts (which were stolen from me ; )
We had a Costume contest that Brenda and Wade won. They dressed up as Cousin Eddie and Cousin Catherine. They were hilarious! Green Beans were the White Elephant gift.
Looking for ‘Christmas Vacation’ gifts? Check out this blog post all about Christmas Vacation! We even share a Christmas Vacation themed Christmas tree!
Marlo and Rhett
A “real” frog purse and some half-used gift cards were a hit at the party.
Marissa and Cole
Jen and Spencer
Chad and Cassie. By the way, that is a hat ; )
Earlier we mentioned the “Fish and Chips” gift that was one of our White Elephant Gifts. We later found the fish in our water dispenser. No fish were harmed in this prank.
I hope you got some ideas for best Christmas Vacation decorations for a party!
We had so much fun at this party and I know our friends did too! We have a lot more photos of friends but just included a few in this post. Christmas is just a wonderful time of year and its the perfect time to do something special and do it with people you love. We already know our movie theme party for next year…