Tag: Christmas

Light display at N.J. house brings Griswold’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ to life

Griswold fans rejoice, the house on Legends Court will shine very bright once again this holiday season enabling you to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas.

The popular holiday light display at the Mickleton home of Steve and Gina Harbaugh, that mimics the home in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” will include the same cast of characters as years before, plus a few new ones, but with a pandemic twist.

“We’re definitely having it just because people are starving and yearning for something positive this year,” said Steve, the creative mastermind responsible for the authentic-like display. As early as mid-November, he said, people have been driving by his house looking for any signs of exterior illumination.

The Harbaugh's "Christmas Vacation" movie holiday display

Steve Harbaugh talks to his daughter in the window after adjusting the lights on his Mickleton home, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. For the third year in a row he has recreated a “Christmas Vacation” movie light display. Tim Hawk | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The Friday after Thanksgiving began the third and largest display for the Christmas-loving Harbaugh family.

The animatronic Uncle Eddie draining his RV’s septic tank with a beer in hand and Clark hanging onto the house for dear life after falling off his ladder while rigging up the lights will again welcome passersby.

Returning this year after making a debut last year are the 1984 LTD police car with its lights flashing and the 1989 Ford Taurus station wagon complete with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof.

Upping his Griswold game from last year, Steve added another Clark mannequin depicting the scene when he takes two extension cords and puts them together, finally getting the lights lit.

“He’s got that smile,” he said referring to Clark’s expression.

The Harbaugh's "Christmas Vacation" movie holiday display

The smiling face of Clark Griswold, left, made by California artist Jeremy O’Neil, will resemble the face of Clark in the Warner Bros movie “Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” right, after he lit his Christmas lights. This will be a new addition to the Harbaugh’s Christmas display.

Steve said the same artist in California that made the latex cast head of Uncle Eddie will also make the Clark head with that joyous grin.

Another added feature will be a mannequin of Frank Shirley, Clark’s boss, who will be outfitted in pajamas and a red bow and placed in the RV, representing the scene when Uncle Eddie kidnaps him.

The Harbaughs’ display has continued to gain national attention so much that the original Clark, played by Chevy Chase, and Ellen, played by Beverly D’Angelo, sent him a video shout out this year.

Just like the last two years, the spectacle is to provide some joy during the upcoming holidays and to collect as many toys as possible. The Gloucester County Toys for Tots will benefit from the toy drive and a portion of the toys will go to Kelly’s Kidz, a nonprofit organization started by morning traffic anchor Bob Kelly, of Fox 29 in Philadelphia. The toys will be donated to St. Christopher’s

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‘I keep getting called Clark Griswold’: Trinity family sets up ‘Christmas Vacation’ inspired lights display

TRINITY, N.C. — As Christmas nears, more homes across the Piedmont Triad are getting ready for the holiday and putting their decorations up.

“We figured let’s get started a little early this year with everything going on in 2020. Why not? And we’re pretty excited about it.” said Matt Garrett, who’s home in Trinity is nearly complete with decorations.

“This year we kind of went with a “Christmas Vacation” Clark Griswold theme. I keep getting called Clark Griswold in the neighborhood, so we figured ‘Why not?’ So we’ve added a few Griswold style decorations…those are probably my favorite,” Matt said.

It took some time to pick a theme and get everything up, but the Garrett’s impressive display is growing and set to be the family’s biggest year yet

“There could be weeks where I wake up every morning, and there’s something new in the yard. But, overall, we started it for the kids.” said Kristy Garrett.

Their children: Asher, Harper and Karlen enjoy helping and watching Matt putt up the lights, but they enjoy critiquing the display the most. Their favorites include the manger scene and a big “Merry Christmas” inflatable which is front and center in the yard

“This is my favorite inflatable. It’s kind of the center of the entire yard with all the decorations of all the inflatables” said Asher Garrett, their oldest son.

It’s a big time and financial commitment, but Matt enjoys planning it out and is always looking to make it larger and more unique than the year before.

“I think it’s great for everybody. There’s not a lot going on so we hope a lot of people drive by. Come see our lights, check it out and let us know what you think we should add next year.” Kristy said.

The Garretts have a friendly rivalry with their next-door neighbor.

If you’d like to check their display out in person, you can find their home on Fox Chase Drive in Trinity.

If you would like to feature your house in an upcoming Night Lights segment, please send us a photo to [email protected]

Along with your photo, please include your name and address.

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Christmas travel tsar appointed to oversee Covid-hit networks | Transport policy

A Christmas travel tsar has been appointed in an effort to avoid transport chaos during the festive period.

Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, will scrutinise whether train, air and road networks are ready for millions of people making trips over the five-day window when coronavirus restrictions are eased, the Department for Transport said.

Cheaper advance train tickets for Christmas travel only went on sale on Friday, about eight weeks later than usual, due to delays in finalising timetables during the pandemic.

Sir Peter Hendy.
Sir Peter Hendy.

Capacity on board trains is restricted to allow social distancing, with some operators preventing passengers from boarding without a pre-booked ticket.

Strain on the network will also be increased by engineering work taking place over the Christmas period.

One of the most disruptive projects will be at London King’s Cross, which will be closed for six days from Christmas Day.

London North Eastern Railway, which uses the station for its Anglo-Scottish trains on the east coast mainline, is warning that alternative routes will be “very busy and should also be avoided”.

The UK government and devolved administrations have agreed a temporary easing of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas, allowing three households to mix in a bubble from December 23 to 27.

The DfT will publish measures aimed at easing travel disruption next week, taking into account analysis of demand for advance train tickets and public surveys.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “We recognise that people will want to be with their friends and family over Christmas. And for those that choose to form a Christmas bubble, we’re lifting travel restrictions across the UK for five days for the purposes of seeing that bubble.

“Before you travel, plan your journey very carefully, and where possible book well in advance. Everyone must also follow the clear guidance to keep you, fellow passengers and staff safe.

“As some advance tickets go on sale and people begin to plan their journeys, we are closely assessing demand on the network and have already taken actions to minimise potential disruption.

“We are currently developing a plan focused on tackling disruption, including running longer trains and relaxing rules to allow more types of coaches to run, and will publish further details next week, once demand is clearer.”

An RAC spokesman, Rod Dennis, said: “Our breakdown team is planning for the roads to be busy over ‘the five days of Christmas’. Last year drivers told us they were planning on making 31 million trips to see family and friends by car in the runup to Christmas, but it remains to be seen just what the nation’s appetite is for similar journeys this year.”

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New road and rail plans for Christmas travel spike



a person standing in front of a building


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Road and rail networks are facing changes as the government prepares for a spike in travel when Covid restrictions are eased over Christmas.

Across the UK, up to three households will be allowed to stay together in a “Christmas bubble” from 23-27 December.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said 500 miles of roadworks have been cleared on motorways and A-roads to ease any congestion.

And, he added, there are plans to run longer trains on the rail network.

Mr Shapps said that rules may also be eased to allow more types of coaches to run.

“We recognise that people will want to be with their friends and family over Christmas,” he said. “For those that choose to form a Christmas bubble, we’re lifting travel restrictions across the UK for five days.”

Further details will be published next week, once the picture on passenger demand is clearer.

The government will be monitoring demand for road and rail travel using ticket booking websites and journey planning services such as Google Maps to try to get a grasp on the public’s travel plans ahead of time and increase capacity accordingly.

The expectation is that the start and end of the five-day travel window will be very busy.

Earlier this week, the transport secretary urged people to book tickets well in advance where possible, and prepare for restrictions on passenger numbers.

Referring to domestic travel during the festive period, Mr Shapps urged those travelling on public transport to pre-book tickets as the capacity of services remains reduced to allow for social distancing and as a result of staff self-isolating.

Some advance fares, such as for Avanti West Coast, which operates trains on the West Coast Main Line, go on sale on Tuesday.

These cheaper tickets are usually available 12 weeks in advance, but their release has been delayed during the pandemic due to short-notice timetable changes.

Mr Shapps also highlighted Network Rail’s plans for a series of upgrades and routine maintenance across Britain between 23 December to 4 January.

He told the BBC: “I would appeal to people to think very carefully about their travel plans and consider where they are going to travel and look at the various alternatives available.”

People who live in areas placed in the highest tier of restrictions in England, tier three, should avoid leaving their region entirely, he said.

The majority of the network has also been cleared of engineering works in a bid to avoid disruption.

Those that are scheduled for the festive period will be reviewed if passenger demand is high. But government sources say it is unlikely that the major works on the East Coast Main Line and London King’s Cross will be altered.

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The Savoy is offering amazing hotel experiences to reward kindness this Christmas

Do YOU have a friend who deserves an amazing hotel experience? The Savoy is granting Christmas wishes to reward kindness including lessons from staff, from packing suitcases to cooking

  • The Savoy is asking the public to nominate a friend or family member for a unique Savoy experience 
  • Potential wishes could include enjoying classic Savoy experiences such as afternoon tea in Thames Foyer 
  • Alternatively, they could be the chance to learn skills or insight from the Savoy’s talented team 
  • Nominations can be made online from today or into ‘a golden Well of Wishes’ in the hotel when it reopens

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Do you have a friend or relation that deserves an incredible experience at one of the world’s best hotels? Now’s your chance to make it happen for them.

London’s revered Savoy hotel is asking the public to nominate a friend or family member who’s been particularly kind or helpful in 2020 for a unique Savoy experience. The hotel is encouraging everyone to think about what wonderful Savoy experience their kindest friends might like to receive.

Potential wishes could include enjoying classic Savoy experiences such as afternoon tea in Thames Foyer, or an evening of cocktails at the Beaufort Bar. Alternatively, they could be the chance to learn skills or insight from the Savoy’s talented team.

London’s revered Savoy hotel is asking the public to nominate a friend or family member who’s been particularly kind or helpful in 2020 for a unique Savoy experience. And it could be learning how to pack the perfect suitcase with head butler Sean Davoren (pictured)

London’s revered Savoy hotel is asking the public to nominate a friend or family member who’s been particularly kind or helpful in 2020 for a unique Savoy experience. And it could be learning how to pack the perfect suitcase with head butler Sean Davoren (pictured)

Any experience or service that the Savoy team offer in their day-to-day line of work within the iconic hotel is a possible wish. Pictured is the hotel's uber-luxury Royal Suite

Any experience or service that the Savoy team offer in their day-to-day line of work within the iconic hotel is a possible wish. Pictured is the hotel’s uber-luxury Royal Suite

For example, would the recipient love to learn some of the secrets of cooking with chocolate with Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Pearse? Or how to organise their wardrobe and pack a perfect suitcase and other classic butler duties with Sean Davoren, one of the stars of the ITV documentary about the property who leads the hotel’s guest experience team?

Any experience or service that the Savoy team offer in their day-to-day line of work within the iconic hotel is a possible wish.

So, how does it work?

Making a wish requires a minimum donation of £5 with proceeds being shared equally between two charities that The Savoy says are particularly important to it – Hospitality Action, which supports hospitality workers suffering hardship, and The Connection at St Martin in the Fields, which helps the homeless community in and around the Strand.

Nominations can be made online from today or in person once the hotel reopens to leisure guests from December 3.

Details required include what kind of wonderful Savoy experience they would like to recognise their kindest friends or family with – and there is no limit to how many wishes can

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Dept. of recreation to present children’s Christmas activities | Local News

Children from all across Greene County will be able to enjoy two upcoming Christmas-themed events being coordinated by the county’s department of recreation.

Santa Claus will be the focus of the upcoming activities, as he will serve as the special guest at “Breakfast with Santa” from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 5. He will also be receiving letters from local youths who write to him through the department’s “Letters to Santa” initiative.

The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the 4-H Building at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Admission is $7 per person and includes a breakfast catered by Dan Wagner, culinary arts instructor at Greene County Career and Technology Center.

To follow CDC guidelines put in place because of COVID-19, the current plan is for the department to offer three time frames with a 35-person occupancy per time frame, and masks must be worn by attendees unless they are seated.

Also, Santa will be seated behind a Plexiglas frame in the upper level of the 4-H Building and available for a picture. Children will also receive that picture with Santa and a special treat.

A mailbox for the North Pole will be available for children to write and deposit their letters into, along with “Dear Santa” templates to compose their wish list on.

The event is sponsored by Direct Results and Waynesburg VFW Post 4793.

Recreation department director Bret Moore said all steps are being taken to ensure the event will follow all CDC mandates and guidelines.

“We haven’t made a final decision yet as to whether we will allow people to come inside and eat breakfast, or if this will become a ‘to-go’ event,” Moore said. “We will make the decision based on what is best for those coming, and what is mandated.

“As for Santa, unfortunately children will not be able to sit on his lap this year because of COVID-19, but he will be there, greeting and waving, and he will be situated behind a safety glass that will resemble a wonderful Christmas card.”

Moore said tickets for the breakfast are now available at the recreation office, located at the county fairgrounds, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Also, now through Dec. 15, area children wishing to receive a personalized letter from Santa can simply send their letter with a completed request form to Greene County Department of Recreation, ATTN: Santa Claus, 107 Fairgrounds Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370.

Letter request forms include the child’s contact and basic information, including gender, age and any gifts requested from Santa, and must be completed by a parent or guardian.

A completed form must accompany each letter, and parents are asked to limit one request per child. There is no cost for a letter from Santa, as funding has been provided through various sponsors and fundraising efforts the department of recreation holds throughout the year.

Children should receive the letters before Christmas.

For more information on the “Breakfast with Santa” event or the

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Broken finger to fake snow, Chevy Chase dishes on ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

Spoiler alert — all that snow isn’t real.

From Clark Griswold to Cousin Eddie, babies recreate scenes from ‘Christmas Vacation’

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Chevy Chase says of all the questions he gets about the now-classic holiday comedy “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” surprisingly the white powdery surroundings top the list.

“The answer, of course, is no. I hate to say it, but the very first thing we shot was the tree, that was snow and we did get Randy (Quaid) and me on a hill that was in Colorado and I did have to go down this damn trail they built for me. It was scary, but it was fun,” he recalls.



a man wearing a hat: Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) goes all out for the holiday in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."


© WARNER BROS.
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) goes all out for the holiday in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

 “But that was the first couple of days. The rest of the time we just made it look like snow around the house and stuff.”

More: Duncan Sheik: New album spins tale from ‘Barely Breathing’ to Broadway

What was real about the movie?

The legendary actor’s reactions in the infamous Christmas lights scene, where Chase’s character Clark Griswold gets so frustrated he resorts to hitting the decorations around him. 

The problem is he whacked one character — “that wasn’t in the script, but I was so angry I did it” — so hard it broke his finger.

“Oh boy did that hurt,” he said. “I thought it might melt or something, but no, it was a good, hard plastic.”

“I just went on with the scene,” he said. 

Naturally.

“These things happen. You have to be strong.” 



Chevy Chase wearing a suit and tie: Chevy Chase attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza, in New York in Feb. 15, 2015.


© AP
Chevy Chase attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza, in New York in Feb. 15, 2015.

Chase and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen Griswold) are hosting an online salute to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on Saturday, Nov. 28. Tickets, $25, are available through New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The pair will share behind-the-scenes stories and memories, as well as take part in a live audience question-and-answer session.

More: Virtual programming a lifeline, but NJ arts remain in dire straits

Chase says he’s looking forward to the trip down memory lane even though it will be held virtually this year, enjoying in-person events every holiday season.

“When I’m on stage there with the audience, it’s usually about 3,000 people or whatever, and I’m loving it because it’s very rare that a guy that makes movies or TV shows ever gets to see his audience,” he said.

He says he even enjoys the “wise guys” who shout remarks from the seats.

“I can take anything and I can give it back better,” he said. 

Chase says he never expected the 1989 film to attain the holiday tradition status that it has.

“One always hopes,” he said. “I never come away from something like, ‘we’ve got a hit,’ but I always give it my best shot and I can think of moments that are in the movie that people are going to think

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Broken finger to fake snow, Chevy Chases dishes on ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

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Photographer Amy Haehl made Christmas movie magic when she recreated scenes from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with adorable babies.

USA TODAY

Spoiler alert — all that snow isn’t real.

Chevy Chase says of all the questions he gets about the now-classic holiday comedy “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” surprisingly the white powdery surroundings top the list.

“The answer, of course, is no. I hate to say it, but the very first thing we shot was the tree, that was snow and we did get Randy (Quaid) and me on a hill that was in Colorado and I did have to go down this damn trail they built for me. It was scary, but it was fun,” he recalls.

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) goes all out for the holiday in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” (Photo: WARNER BROS.)

 “But that was the first couple of days. The rest of the time we just made it look like snow around the house and stuff.”

More: Duncan Sheik: New album spins tale from ‘Barely Breathing’ to Broadway

What was real about the movie?

The legendary actor’s reactions in the infamous Christmas lights scene, where Chase’s character Clark Griswold gets so frustrated he resorts to hitting the decorations around him. 

The problem is he whacked one character — “that wasn’t in the script, but I was so angry I did it” — so hard it broke his finger.

“Oh boy did that hurt,” he said. “I thought it might melt or something, but no, it was a good, hard plastic.”

“I just went on with the scene,” he said. 

Naturally.

“These things happen. You have to be strong.” 

Chevy Chase attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza, in New York in Feb. 15, 2015. (Photo: AP)

Chase and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen Griswold) are hosting an online salute to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on Saturday, Nov. 28. Tickets, $25, are available through New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The pair will share behind-the-scenes stories and memories, as well as take part in a live audience question-and-answer session.

More: Virtual programming a lifeline, but NJ arts remain in dire straits

Chase says he’s looking forward to the trip down memory lane even though it will be held virtually this year, enjoying in-person events every holiday season.

“When I’m on stage there with the audience, it’s usually about 3,000 people or whatever, and I’m loving it because it’s very rare that a guy that makes movies or TV shows ever gets to see his audience,” he said.

He says he even enjoys the “wise guys” who shout remarks from the seats.

“I can take anything and I can give it back better,” he said. 

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Chase says he never expected the 1989 film to attain the holiday tradition status that it has.

“One always hopes,” he said. “I never come away from something like ‘we’ve got a hit’ but I always give it my best shot and I can think

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U.K. Allows Christmas With Mixed Households But Not For New Year

The U.K. will end its second lockdown on 2 December, and has outlined its vision for a British Christmas in 2020–it is to relax restrictions over Christmas but not for New Year.

During the U.K’s current lockdown, everyone has been advised to stay at home but can leave for work purposes or to buy essential items. Crucially for parents’ ability to work, schools have stayed open.

Like many of its European neighbors, critical public services remain operational and essential shops are open. Social interactions between different households are not allowed, unless in some kind of caring capacity. People have been told to avoid traveling either in the U.K. or overseas.

England to reintroduce tiers to restrict movement

From 2 December in the U.K., regions will be placed back in tiers, similar to the three-tier system which was being used before but on a slightly stricter scale. There are differing degrees of restrictions placed upon regions decided by Covid-19 infection rates and prime minister Boris Johnson said, “the scientific advice I’m afraid is that as we come out the tiers need to be made tougher.”

Tier 1 is where people limit travel and work from home, if possible. In tier 2, which is for a region experiencing higher Covid-19 infection rates, bars and restaurants can serve alcohol but only if they are serving proper meals. Sports venues can open in tiers 1 and 2 to “limited numbers”.

Tier 3 is the highest tier, where all entertainment venues are shut and hospitality businesses will close except for takeaway services, as reported by CNBC. The aim would also be to ramp up widespread testing in the community in tier 3 areas.

Between 23-27 December, household mixing allowed

For Christmas, the U.K. is allowing three households to mix together between 23 and 27 December, as reported by U.K.’s Mirror newspaper. The move applies to all four U.K. nations, who decided to implement joint festive restrictions, rather than initiating four different rules, as currently stands. During this period, this rule will supersede the tiered restrictions.

As reported by The Guardian, these three household “Christmas bubbles” can meet at places of worship, inside homes and in outdoor public spaces. They will not be able to go to pubs, restaurants or the like. The rules for the tier they are in, will remain in place.

There are very specific rules in that possibly families with more than three grown-up children might not be able to meet–one would have to stay at home. One exception is if one child is at university; when they arrive home for the holidays, they can join an existing family bubble and be counted as belonging to it.

Unlike other countries, such as France for instance, the relaxing of rules does not extend to New Year.

The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon reminded people

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Want to spend Christmas with the Griswolds? Now you can in a virtual Christmas vacation Q&A

Celebrating the season with America’s favorite dysfunctional holiday gathering gone terribly wrong seems about right during a pandemic.



Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo are posing for a picture: A virtual Christmas Vacation with the Griswolds


© Kentucky for the Performing Arts
A virtual Christmas Vacation with the Griswolds

Kentucky Performing Arts plans to spread some virtual holiday cheer with help from the stars of a Christmas classic — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

On Saturday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m., you are invited to join Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold) and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen Griswold) for an online no-holds-barred trip down memory lane as they lead the audience through a live event while they share fan-favorite clips from the movie, reveal behind-the-scene secrets from the making of the Vacation franchise and answer your questions in a live audience Q&A.

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Tickets to “A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with the Griswold’s: An Evening with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo” are $25 per device. A limited number of VIP tickets that include a post-show meet and greet with Chase and D’Angelo are also available. To purchase tickets, visit kentuckyperformingarts.org.

And even though nothing has gone to plan for 2020, and things continue to “go wrong,” we can still, as Clark Griswold says, “have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas.”

To help you embrace the holiday spirit, Sam’s Club has created a virtual tour of the house-made famous in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.” Inside the interactive digital Griswold domain, you can shop Sam’s Club’s holiday decorations, gifts, toys, food and more.

You may like: Here’s everything you need to know about Lights Under Louisville at the Mega Cavern

Enter by clicking to make sure the Griswold’s Christmas lights are plugged in. From there, you can pick a style of lighting on the house: a golden glow featuring the Griswold family car or colorful Christmas with Uncle Eddie’s RV.

The experience also includes movie trivia and interactive elements such as the squirrel in the Christmas tree and Aunt Bethany’s cat still wrapped up in a gift box. You can click icons for movie trivia, décor tips and sound effects.

Visit samsclub.com/ChristmasVacation where the doors are always open and the lights are always plugged in. 

Reach Kirby Adams at [email protected] or Twitter @kirbylouisville. 

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Want to spend Christmas with the Griswolds? Now you can in a virtual Christmas vacation Q&A

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