72 Festive Christmas Vacation Party Theme Ideas

A Christmas Vacation party theme is one of the most fun Christmas party ideas! We’ll have the Christmas Vacation dinner recipes (from the Griswold Christmas dinner-yes, even the Aunt Bethany Christmas Vacation Jello mold recipe) and movie quotes for the food table signs, Griswold family Vacation costumes ideas, Moose Mugs, Cousin Eddie quotes, and a ton of other fun Christmas Vacation themed party ideas! Here’s how to throw a fun Griswold Christmas party!

Christmas Vacation Party Theme (fun Christmas theme ideas) - Cousin Eddie Hat with Are You Serious Clark Christmas Vacation movie quote under the hat

Best Christmas Vacation Party Theme Ideas

This is one of the most fun and unique Christmas party themes for adults and kids! (It’s a great watch party holiday party theme, too!) So much fun with a favorite holiday movie!

How Do You Do A Griswold Christmas?

Christmas Vacation Movie Party Ideas:

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  • Dress up in Christmas vacation costumes like your favorite movie characters (or in Clark Griswold sweaters or Cousin Eddie Wife Catherine costume!) — Christmas Vacation is one of the most fun Christmas parties dress up themes!
  • Play the Griswold Christmas Vacation theme song
  • Make Christmas Vacation themed invitations
  • Have a Christmas Vacation dinner party (including Aunt Bethany’s Green Jello with “cat food”! – the jello from Christmas Vacation is a funny food item to add – add in cereal pieces for cat food)
  • Include Christmas Vacation themed drinks (think: egg nog in a Moose mug!)
  • Have a Christmas Vacation watch party
  • Sing Christmas carols
  • Decorate with fun Christmas Vacation props and decorations
  • Make squirrel Christmas cookies
  • Have a Christmas Vacation ugly sweater party
  • Play Christmas Vacation trivia and games
  • Watch the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie

See full holiday party ideas below, including more Christmas Vacation costume ideas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation decorating ideas! If you’re wondering what are good Christmas party themes, this is one of the best! Great ideas for the holiday season!

CHRISTMAS VACATION PARTY IDEAS - different cartoon images of Christmas Vacation movie props

What did they eat in Christmas Vacation?

The Christmas Vacation movie menu included:

  • Dry roasted turkey
  • Turkey gravy in gravy boat
  • Veggie Tower (the tall thing): Asparagus Tower with a cherry tomato “star” on top and pearl onions, green olives, and small red pepper garnish decorations
  • Aunt Bethany’s Green Jell-o with a Secret Ingredient decorated with a carrot ribbon (or a sweet potato ribbon) – the infamous Christmas Vacation green jello!
  • Seven-tier cake (it’s in the background of the dinner scene behind Clark)
  • Croquembouche Christmas Tree dessert (also behind Clark, on a dessert tray)
  • Various desserts – maybe a tiramisu (on dessert tray)
  • Random Creamy Jello Salad (white thing on the table shaped like a bell with a red “ribbon”)
CHRISTMAS VACATION PARTY FOOD IDEAS - different Christmas Vacation movie party menu foods
  • Salad, which is really just large lettuce leaves with cherry tomatoes in the movie
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Broccoli and tomato vegetable tray with white dip in the middle
  • Bowl of cooked broccoli
  • Bowl of fresh fruit (apples and pears)
  • Crackers
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Wine
  • Meister Brau (now Miller Lite)

It’s tough watching the movie and trying to pick out all the foods on the Christmas Vacation movie dinner table! Those are the things I could recognize/guess from the dinner scene. Let us know if you picked up something else from the Griswold themed Christmas party dinner.


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If you’re looking for elegant adult Christmas Party Theme Ideas, try a Winter Wonderland Party!

What is around Aunt Bethany’s Jello mold?

The Jello dish in Christmas Vacation is Aunt Bethany’s special recipe: green Jell-O (from a mold), decorated with dry, crunchy cat food and what appears to be either a raw carrot or raw sweet potato ribbon around the edge.

For your Christmas Vacation themed party, you can use Cheerios, dry cereal, or even chopped nuts to represent the “cat food.”

Put a sign by the Jell-O with the quote, Aunt Bethany does your cat eat jello?

Be sure to get all the Christmas Vacation dinner tips and movie recipes ideas below for your National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party ideas!

Here are the best Griswold family Christmas party ideas, Christmas Vacation food, and DIY Christmas Vacation decorations…

How To Have A National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Party - Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation movie dinner party scene

How To Have A National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Party

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party Invitations

Make custom invites using different Christmas Vacation quotes and even clipart.

(Use free programs like Canva.com or Picmonkey.com to make your invitations, or you can even make an online invite and send it!)

Christmas Vacation Party Invites Ideas (Christmas Vacation Theme Party Ideas For Invitations)

Use any of these Christmas Vacation quotes for invitations:

“We’re kicking off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.” — Clark Griswold

“Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold family Christhmath.” — Clark Griswold

“Well, I don’t know what to say except it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery.” — Ellen Griswold

“If you’re good, Santa knows it. And if you believe in him, and you believe in your mom and you believe in your dad—if you’ve been good all year round, Santa Claus is going to bring you something.” — Clark Griswold

“Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air, an a**hole in his bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.” — Clark Griswold

“Hallelujah! Holy s**t! Where’s the Tylenol?” — Clark Griswold

“When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and… Eddie. With a man in his pajamas and a dog chain tied to his wrists and ankles.” — Clark Griswold

“It’s the Christmas star. And that’s all that matters tonight. Not bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees. See kids, it means something different to everybody. Now I know what it means to me.” — Clark Griswold

What did we miss? Let us know your favorite quotes from Christmas Vacation or Christmas Vacation invitations!

YOU’LL ALSO LIKE THIS FUN HOLIDAY THEME: Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Decorating Party Ideas and Tips

Let’s start with Christmas Vacation themed decorations…

National Lampoon Christmas Vacation Party Decorations

You can have a lot of fun with Griswold Christmas decorations because there are so many different fun movie scenes!

Griswold Christmas Decorating Ideas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party Supplies:

  • Decorate Christmas tree (leave some of the lights trailing off and put a stuffed white cat toy near them and a stuffed toy squirrel in the tree)
  • Lots of Christmas lights (wait until everyone arrives and then gather them around to light them!)
  • Create a Christmas Vacation backdrop with props from the movie (user this as a Christmas Vacation photo backdrop)

Christmas Vacation party supplies are so fun, so get creative!

You can even wrap some fun Christmas Vacation Aunt Bethany gifts as prizes for people!

What did we miss on our National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation party decorations list? Let us know and we’ll add it!

national lampoon's christmas vacation themed party (fun christmas themed costume party)

What did the Griswolds have for Christmas dinner? Christmas Vacation Themed Food

Just like any holiday party, food will be a big part of your Christmas Vacation Christmas party, too!

You don’t necessarily need to have a sit-down Christmas Vacation dinner party.

Instead, do some fun theme food for the movie and have an easy buffet with these iconic foods from the movie!

Place signs by each dish with fun theme names and/or quotes from the movie or a Christmas Vacation dinner menu board for the National Lampoon party food.

Here are fun National Lampoon’s Christmas Party ideas for food and Griswold Christmas theme party dinner…

Christmas Vacation Party Food Ideas

  • Cousin Eddie’s wife Catherine’s Turkey (use turkey jerky instead of dry, overcooked turkey like the movie) (Clark: “Catherine, if this turkey tastes half as good as it looks, we’re all in for a real treat!” Eddie: “Save the neck for me.”)
  • Sh*tter’s Full Hot Cocoa (awesome served in these poo jars!)
  • Aunt Bethany’s Green Jello: make it in a mold and then sprinkle with chopped nuts or Cheerios cereal for the cat food (bonus points if you put a raw carrot or sweet potato ribbon around it!)
  • Eggnog (“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?” -Clark to Eddie)
  • Asparagus tower (steamed asparagus tied together and decorated with pearl onions, tomatoes and peppers) — if you don’t want to make a tower, try this asparagus salad

The food is an important part of the Christmas vacation decorating ideas!


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More Christmas Party Themes

Christmas Vacation Party Costume Ideas

Here are costume ideas for Christmas Vacation party and Griswold Christmas party ideas for the full Griswold style fashion — fun ideas for what to wear to a Christmas Vacation party!

How do you dress like the Griswolds and rock your Griswold style?

Griswold family Christmas costumes:

Let us know your Christmas Vacation dress up ideas and we’ll add them to our costume list!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Party Games

Christmas Vacation Movie Party Games (Christmas Vacation Themed Party Games):

  • See who can answer the most Christmas Vacation movie trivia
  • Christmas Vacation Guess Who: Use these Christmas Vacation playing cards with faces to play Guess Who? (tape or pin a photo to each of the guest’s back and let them ask other guests questions to figure out which character they are from the movie)
  • Play the Christmas Vacation Twinkle Lights game
  • Play National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Card Scramble
  • Create and play Christmas Vacation bingo
  • Have a white elephant gift exchange (or other gift exchange game) with only Christmas gifts with a Christmas Vacation movie theme

Christmas Vacation Party Favors and Party Prizes

Want to give out party favors or prizes (like best costume)?

Try these holiday ideas for your Christmas Vacation theme party:


Have fun with these Christmas Vacation themes!

(My vote for what is the best theme for Christmas party or even an 80’s Christmas themed party!)

Get creative and have fun with your Christmas Vacation party theme!

DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links are used on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please refer to our DISCLOSURE.

About the author

Friends have called Jackie the "Midwestern Martha" [Stewart] because of her 20 years of over-the-top theme parties, super fun sleepover tips, fun theme recipes, DIY game ideas and awesome party tips! LEARN MORE

3 thoughts on “72 Festive Christmas Vacation Party Theme Ideas”

  1. This Christmas Vacation Party theme is absolutely delightful! The website beautifully captures the spirit of the holiday season, offering a plethora of creative and fun ideas for an unforgettable celebration. From the festive decorations to the themed activities and games, every detail seems perfectly planned to bring joy and warmth to any gathering. The article outlining the different elements for a successful party is incredibly helpful and inspiring, making it easy for anyone to organize their own magical Christmas event. Thank you for this fantastic resource, I can’t wait to use these ideas to create unforgettable memories with my loved ones this holiday season!


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