Sunday, December 13, 2015

7 things we can learn from those other Griswolds

I love my name. When I got into TV my brother said something like, "cool so now you can change your name, I mean, no one will take you seriously on air with Griswold." Boo to that, I thought. Our name is awesome. It makes people smile. Laugh even. I don't care if they're laughing at me or my name's expense, I'm pleased to share the joy.

And now it's that time of year! I say my name on TV roughly four times a day. Yet, when I hear Chevy Chase bark it out from a TV I think it's the absolute coolest! Yes, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation makes us laugh, but it also speaks truths. 

1) Go big or go home. I think my mom is up to eight Christmas trees. This might be an exaggeration, it might be an understatement. I lost count of her trees and her Santas and her nutcrakers and her ornaments years ago. I do know each tree has some sort of vague theme she is really proud of. When she moved she needed a large basement solely for her Christmas decorations. On years when I'm going to be in Wisconsin for the holidays, I get about three phone calls leading up to the trip wondering if I'll be okay if she doesn't put up the medium size tree with travel decorations or her Charlie Brown tree or her flocked tree that goes on the table. I never have any idea what she's talking about. In fact, I know I'm going to get a phone call about this post in which she says, "Jenny, you know which tree I mean!" I don't. I can't keep track. But I love it. I love when Christmas throws up on my mom's home. It makes me happy. She is our family's Clark. (Case in point: we were home for Thanksgiving, and she had multiple turkey hats for us.)

2) Real trees are best! I mean, I don't recommend one that comes with a squirrel, but who doesn't love the smell of a fresh tree in their home. (I also recognize the fire danger, the issues with pets and children, etc.) I'm embarrassed to admit we went fake this year for practical reasons.  

3) Every family should have an Aunt Bethany. Not to make light of senility, but sometimes I wish I could pretend I couldn't hear or understand my family. Sometimes I wish I could just wrap up a Jell-O mold or some unwanted item in my home and call it a day. My Grandma Griswold was not an Aunt Bethany. She was very with it. That said, she had an awesome quality only that generation can pull off. She said whatever she wanted with no forgiveness. It was something to be admired. There are other women in my life with this characteristic, and I find my time with them to be incredibly entertaining. 

4) Yuppie, unhappy, too-good-for-the-holidays people are the worst. Bursting their perfect bubble is entertaining. That's probably not Christian of me. But whatever, it's not Christmas yet. And it's true. Sorry Elaine (or whatever your name was in the movie). 

5) Wouldn't life be better with an Eddie? Lemme tell you, it is. Mine's name is Amy. She is not poor, dumb, trashy or anything like Eddie in most ways. But my friend Amy has my back at all times. I could casually mention that someone got on my nerves once at work, and she will forever dislike that person. Girl is as loyal as they come. She would for sure kidnap my boss, wrap him up and bring him over if that's what I needed. She says the things I think but could never say. You should find your Eddie. 

6) Bring some Ellen sex appeal to the holidays. Sure we're surrounded by family. Sure we're celebrating the birth of Jesus. But a little shirt slit to show some cleave never hurt anyone. Personally I prefer sweat pants because they allow more room for cookies and egg nog, but feeling hot can help most situations, I've found. 

7) Believing is best. I've heard friends question when they will tell their kids about Santa Claus. I will most definitely keep that dream alive as long as possible. Ruby Sue needed a little joy. She got that from believing in Santa. We could all use a little magic.