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How to Watch ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

The Chevy Chase comedy is a staple of the Christmas season.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION, John Randolph, Diane Ladd, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, 1989

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Warner Bros/Everett Collection

Christmas is coming at us faster than Santa’s sleigh, which means ’tis the season for streaming Christmas movies. While there are plenty of family-friendly options for parents — from classics like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to new entries like this year’s “Spirited” on Apple TV+ — some may prefer a slightly more raunchy selection, which is where 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” comes in.

“Christmas Vacation” is streaming on several online platforms, including HBO Max, AMC+, The Roku Channel, fuboTV, Philo, and Sling TV. It can also be rented or purchased on VOD platforms, including YouTube, Vudu, Google Play, Apple TV, and Redbox, for $3.99. In addition, AMC will air the film throughout the next few days at 8 or 10 p.m. ET, including on December 21, December 22, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, “Christmas Vacation” was the third and effectively final entry in the classic “National Lampoon” series of movies about the Griswold family, with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo playing patriarch and matriarch Clark and Ellen. Released in 1989 after Harold Ramis’ first “Vacation” movie and 1985’s “European Vacation,” the film was the last in the series to carry the “National Lampoon” branding, followed by 1997’s “Vegas Vacation” and a 2015 reboot.

“Christmas Vacation” follows the Griswolds as they attempt to celebrate Christmas while facing an unexpected visit from Ellen’s cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her husband Eddie (Randy Quaid). The film also stars a young Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki as Clark and Ellen’s kids, in roles previously played by Dana Barron and Dana Hill and Anthony Michael Hall and Jason Lively. Other cast members include William Hickey, Mae Questel, Diane Ladd, John Randolph, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicholas Guest, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Natalia Nogulich.

In IndieWire’s list of the 25 best Christmas Films of all Time, “Christmas Vacation” ranked No. 16, with editor Alison Foreman calling the film “a top-of-the-tree, crowning achievement for the series,” writing that “Chase and D’Angelo are joined by the best ensemble cast the franchise ever saw with a sprawling family that’s only sometimes lovable but always believable.”

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