Christmas Vacation: What’s the Cost to Clark Griswold?

Daniel Banas  |

Though it may not have the cache of It’s a Wonderful Life or the treacly sweetness of Miracle on 34th Street, for families that need a touch of sour to counter the holiday sweetness, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has been a time-honored staple of the season for nearly 25 years now. Like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol before it, Christmas Vacation subjects its protagonist (and audience) to every variety of holiday horror before finally allowing for the warm fuzzies to take over at the very end. 

For the fiscally-minded viewer looking to fully bask in the Schadenfreudian pleasure of watching The Griswold family’s Christmas go up in flames (quite literally), the folks at Cinema Sins published this comprehensive video detailing the cost of every indignity Clark and the gang must endure.



Highlights of the financial holiday horrors include:

  • $575 for gutter repair
  • $533 for a sleek 1980s stereo
  • $265 to repair an outhouse Clark runs through while sledding at lightning-fast speed
  • $664 for carpet and floor repair
  • $1,062 for lost property value after destroying a stately looking pine tree in a crazed Christmas fervor

Calculated at the 1989 dollar rate (the year the film released), the grand total for all the festive mayhem comes to no less than $6.678 – or, adjusted for inflation, a staggering $12,790. Ouch. That’s a lot of property (and house cat) damage that Clark will be answering for once the boughs of holly come down. All of which make’s the Griswold patriarch's classic rant upon learning he’s been enrolled in a “Jelly of the Month Club” in lieu of his holiday bonus all the more understandable:



Don’t worry, we’ll get you that Tylenol, buddy.

  • One 500 mg Bottle: Extra Strength Tylenol – $22.99

Oh, what the heck, the Tylenol is on us, Clark. Happy Holidays. 

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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