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How to Plan an Amazing National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Movie and Dinner Night for Your Family

Make your holidays extra festive and fun by creating a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie and dinner night for your kids with food, drinks, and decor ideas.

The gift that keeps on giving quote

Each December, one of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is to watch Christmas movies together, and to make it a bit more memorable I’ve started pairing those classic movies with a themed dinner menu!

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Some of the family Christmas movies we’ve watched so far have been…

Our “Elf” movie and dinner night

Elf Dinner & Movie

We also had a grinchy good time with “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” family movie night.

The Grinch Family Dinner & Movie Night

But I think the kids favorite was probably our “A Christmas Story” Dinner & Movie Night

A Christmas Story Dinner and Movie Night

Because the holiday flicks with food nights have been such a hit with my family, we are going to keep the tradition rolling by adding a new movie into our playbill…

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This movie is an absolutely hysterical film, with enough laughs to last a whole year. It’s one of those cult classics that seriously gets funnier each time you see it!

We planned our night for just our family, but you could easily turn this into a big family Christmas gathering or even use it as a Christmas Vacation Party for friends, co-workers, or neighbors.

I saw online how one family used the Christmas Vacation party theme to host a dress-up soiree with very detailed Christmas Vacation-themed food and decorations.

They even asked their guests to dress up in Christmas Vacation costumes…I mean who wouldn’t want to be Clark Griswold for a night? Or even better, Cousin Eddie in his comfy robe!

My favorite part of the Griswold Family Themed Party at “Seeded at the Table” was the dead cat prop they made that got electrocuted by the Christmas tree lights in the movie. They have tons of super creative and fun Christmas Vacation party ideas that I used as inspiration for our family event.

Christmas Vacation dead cat prop

I also have created a Christmas Vacation Pinterest Board filled with all sorts of Griswold goodness if you want to see more!

How exactly do you create and plan a Griswold Christmas movie and dinner night?

It really is much easier than it sounds, and I have done most of the legwork for you! Keep reading and I’ll share exactly what I did to create a Christmas Vacation movie party for my family!

So grab your yule log, tangled Christmas lights, and moose mugs, and let’s jump into the details of planning an old-fashioned family Christmas…Griswold style!


1. Download the Printable Christmas Vacation Party Food Tags

Christmas Vacation Printable Food Tags
Click on the image to download the tags

2. Print the Printable Christmas Vacation Party Food Tags

Once you’ve downloaded the printable PDF, print all of the tags.

Pro Tip – I prefer to print any type of party food labels on white card stock. It makes them much sturdier, easier to work with, and you can reuse them another year…so less prep the next time you host a Christmas Vacation Party.

3. Decide What Christmas Vacation Party Food to Serve

I made lots of tags so you’ll have plenty of options for festive food and drinks.

It’s wise to select which edible things you want to make or purchase and add them to your shopping and prep lists!

Food Ideas for Christmas Vacation Movie Night

Appetizers and Side Dishes:

Uncle Lewis’s Cigars – Simply set out pretzel rods on a platter that look like the stogie that Uncle Lewis is known for in the movie.

Uncle Lewis' Pretzel Rod Cigars

Jelly of the Month Club Dip – Add a jar of Pepper Jelly to a block of cream cheese, serve it with crackers, and you’ve got yourself a Jelly of the Month Club dip, which was Clark Griswold’s Christmas bonus in the movie. It will have your family saying. “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year”.

Jelly of the Month Club appetizer

Assorted Nuts – We happened to have a nuts sampler gift that we used as a snack to give a nod to one of the more memorable quotes by Chevy Chase “Jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse”.

Nuts appetizer

Mobile Home Snack MixCousin Eddie and his family roll up to the Griswold Family’s house in an RV which in essence has become their “Mobile Home”. So we added store-bought Chex Mix to our menu as an appetizer!

Mobile home snack mix

Turkey Jerky – Another classic scene in the movie revolves around a very dry baked turkey on the dinner table made by Cousin Eddie’s wife Catherine, so adding some turkey jerky to the appetizer list would be a great addition! “Save the neck for me”!

Catherine's Turkey

Main Dish:

“Freezing My Baguettes Off” Sandwiches – Art has this classic line in the movie, and having a baguette sandwich station is the perfect main dish to serve a small or large group!

Freezing my baguettes off


“Shitter’s Full” Doo Doo Dip – (AKA Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip) – You can find the hot cocoa dip recipe online here. Serve it with graham cracker sticks, fruit, or vanilla wafers.

Shitters Full Cocoa Dip

Aunt Bethany’s Jello Mold – One of the most iconic food items from the movie is a jello mold that Aunt Bethany brings to the Griswold Christmas gathering. My kids aren’t really jello fans so we did not make this item, but I think it is so clever how Movie Night’s at Home used cereal pieces to resemble the cat food from the movie version.

Aunt Bethany's Jello Mold

Ol’ Roy Puppy Chow – In honor of Snots, Uncle Eddie’s dog, we bought some Chex Muddy Buddies peanut butter & chocolate treats. Although we chose the easy route of grabbing a bag from our grocery store, you can make this sweet dessert pretty easily too with this recipe for “Puppy Chow”.

Ol' Roy Puppy Chow

Clark Bars – If you want to make dessert super simple, you can offer Clark candy bars, who is the main character of the movie played by Chevy Chase. If you are hosting friends or neighbors for a gathering this would be the perfect “party favor” to go along with the Christmas Vacation party theme.

Griswold Christmas Tree Cookies – I found these slice and bake cookies at my local grocery store and thought it was cute to include them since so many scenes in the movie revolve around funny Christmas tree happenings. Little Debbie also makes packaged cakes in the shape of trees that would work well too!

Griswold Christmas Tree Cookies


Egg Nog – This is not only a classic Christmas beverage, but it also dovetails perfectly with the movie quote “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?”

And if you can drink it out of one of these iconic moose mugs, then you’ve leveled up your Christmas Vacation fandom!

Egg nog in a moose mug

Mary’s Luscious Slush Punch – Although we did not serve this drink at our family dinner, it would be a great addition to a Christmas Vacation Party. You can get the recipe for Mary’s Luscious Slush Punch here.

Once you’ve narrowed down your food choices, it’s time to purchase and make all your movie goodies, leaving only one thing left to do…

Eat, drink, be “Mary” (AKA the Hot Chick in the Department Store), and enjoy watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie with your family!

So what do you think?

What movie should we create a special menu for next?

The Santa Claus?

Home Alone?

It’s a Wonderful Life?

Let me know in the comments what your favorite Christmas movies are!

Until next time, cheers to having a Mele Kalikimaka Old Fashioned Family Christmas, and cheers to you!



Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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