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Dec 11

Are you sure you ain’t Santa? (Christmas, Clark Griswold style—Last in a series)

Clark Griswold: “Hey, Kids, I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa’s sleigh on its way in from New York City.” (The kids sit up excitedly.)

Cousin Eddie (after a pause): “You serious, Clark?
—National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989.


Yes, Eddie.  Clark is indeed serious about something as important as Santa Claus.

In this Full Circle series about the movie Christmas Vacation, we are exploring favorite funny quotes as we follow Clark Griswold’s frantic attempts to create the perfect family Christmas.

Even though the Griswold home is beset by countless calamities, Clark never gives up on Santa.

One of my favorite scenes is when little Ruby Sue (cousin Eddie’s daughter who had a very bleak Christmas last year) catches Clark looking out the window and daydreaming. She thinks he might be Santa because he has been so good to them.

Ruby Sue asks, “Uncle Clark, are you sure you ain’t Santa Claus?”

Clark replies, “No, I ‘m not Santa Claus. Wish I was.”

Clark is about to have a bleak Christmas himself since he spent all his cash including his expected Christmas bonus on a new swimming pool. Worried his big bonus might not come at all, Clark laments, “I’m sure I am not Santa.  I can’t even afford to be an elf.”

In the dialogue that ensues, Clark Griswold promises Ruby Sue that Santa will come despite all their worries.

“I happen to know for a fact that Santa Claus is real,” he says.

He swears,  “In the next couple of days I’m gonna prove it to you. You know every year he comes to our house! I’ve seen him!”

Who could be more passionate about Santa and the season than Clark?

Most of us are more like Cousin Eddie, I fear.

When the holidays become a mess as they are want to do, when visiting families decide they have had just about enough fun for one year and try to leave early, and when we feel like giving up on Santa’s magic, perhaps we could follow Clark’s lead instead and press on waiting hopefully for Santa.

Clark: “Nobody’s leaving… Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas…we’re all in this together…we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Cosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye. And when Santa squeezes…down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch… this side of the nuthouse.”

“Hallelujah! Where’s the Tylenol?”

Clark, are you sure you ain’t Santa?