It's officially December, so you know what that means: you can finally play Christmas movies and music without fear of (unwarranted) judgment.
And what better movie to start with than National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 1? Released in 1989 and starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, Christmas Vacation with the third film in the wildly popular Vacation franchise, but has since gone on to become the most enduring, thanks to its hilarious holiday hijinks, relatable family drama and iconic scenes and quotes.
"I think that there was a little phenomenon with it where it was the third movie in the series, but it made more than the second one. Which is unusua," D'Angelo, the Griswold family matriarch, told Rolling Stone of the film's surprising success and legacy. "I didn't know that was going to happen. The first Vacation was rated R, but then this phenomena happened that people brought their kids and instead of saying, 'Look at these people,' the audience went,'"This is us.'"
Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and written by John Hughes, Christmas Vacation found the Griswolds welcoming both sides of the family for the holiday season, including some unexpected guests. (We're looking at you, Cousin Eddie.)
While it served as several cast members' return to the franchise, it also marked the breakout film for newcomers Johnny Galecki, then 13, and Juliette Lewis, then 15, who played Griswold offspring Russ and Audrey and would both go on to become household names.
"This was such a seminal part of my career, and understanding of comedy and life in general," Galecki recalled of his experience filming the classic. "I remember practically every day."
So what has the stacked cast of Christmas Vacation been up to since enduring that infamous Christmas of 1989?