Family CollageThe Griswold Family Christmas By: Heath Cormier
Why the Griswold’s? It’s about that time of year and I feel like the Griswold’s are certainly one of the most unique families in all of television.They keep you rolling on the ﬂoor laughing, but they also show how dysfunctional a family can be. In the end they also show how a family can overcome stress and become closer in the process.
Clark GriswoldClark Griswold is the obvious leader and bread winner in thefamily. Although some of his ideas aren’t the best ones, thefamily never argues against him. The family actually spent the entire day out in the middle of the woods looking for the “perfect christmas tree”.
Ellen Griswold Ellen Griswold is the “peace-keeper” of the family. Sheknows that some of Clark’s decisions aren’t the best, but she sticks by him. (EX. tree in the middle of the woods.)
Audrey Griswold Audrey Griswold is the eldest of twochildren of Clark and Ellen Griswold. Shealways ﬁnd a way to add in a sharp remark or something sarcastic.
Russ GriswoldRuss Griswold is the youngest in the family.He never argues with his dad but always likesto question his dad’s actions. Russ is Clark’shelper when it comes to putting up the lights on the house.
Marital/Partnership Maintenance They seem like they know how to maintain their relationship even when it feels like the sky is falling.They aren’t the “lovy-dovy” couple but seems like they know how to get along even if Clark drags Ellen deepinto the woods looking for a christmas tree. Conﬁrmingmessages are the cornerstone of relational maintenance (112).
Family Roles and TypesAs I explained earlier, Clark is the bread-winner of the family. He has a high-paying job and we never know what Ellen has for a job. Clark is the dominant leader of the family. Ellen is the “peace-keeper” of the family. She assures everything will be okay even if they spend all daylong in the woods looking for a tree. Audrey is the “provoker” because she always has a smart remark to everything and she hates her younger brother. Russ is the quiet and modest son. Within families, roles are established, grown into, grown through, discussed, negotiated, worked on, and accepted or rejected (150).
Family stressThe holidays became a very stressful time for the Griswold family. Firsttheir huge family decides to visit for Christmas making Clark and Ellen very tense. Eddie who is Clark’s cousin shows up unexpectedly to thehouse with his whole family. (left) It takes Clark almost two whole nights to ﬁnally get his Christmas lights working on the house.(right) Plus a squirrel ﬁnds it’s way into their Christmas tree and everybody freaks out. (middle) Major unforeseen events alter development patterns (241).
CohesionIt seems like this family is always ﬁghting and arguing, but when it comes down to it all they prove a different story. Clark and Ellen do a great job of keeping the in-laws from killing each other at the house.“Throughout the lifespan, the everyday interactions among family members have the potential to have a tremendous impact on individuals (308).”
Conclusion “Families comprise people who have a shared history and a shared future. Theyencompass the entire emotional system of at least three, and frequently now four or even ﬁve, generations held together by blood, legal, and or/historical ties.Relationships with partners, siblings, and other family members go through transitions as they move along the life cycle .” -Betty Carter and Monica McGlodrick The Griswold’s clearly showed how crazy a family can be. They also showed how much adversity and stress can be overcome and make the family bond even stronger. At the end of the movie the family does come together.
Works cited http://www.onepagewonder.com/christmas_vacation.htm http://theawesome80s.net/?p=465 http://www.clarkgriswoldcollection.com/index.php/clark-w-griswold/ http://hellogiggles.com/everything-i-need-to-know-i-learned-from-christmas-vacationhttp://tailgate365.com/2011/12/the-top-10-christmas-ﬁlms-from-ebenezer-scrooge-to-clark- griswold/