National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” has descended on the lobby of Warren County Middle School, bringing joy and laughter with it.
“We have scenes from the movie,” said Bobby Pennington, school resource officer. “We have Cousin Eddie’s RV, try not to fall in love with it. Our RV has a little drainage issue too. Here’s the robe that Eddie wears. Here’s Snots, their dog. We’ve got a clock on the RV that counts down to Christmas.”
Scattered here and there are quotes from the movie, but none of the more colorful ones.
The movie embodies what it can be like to be home for the holidays. It’s a heartwarming tale of a man who wants to create the perfect Christmas for his family. However, things go awry quickly and frequently for the Griswold family: Clark, Ellen, Audrey and Rusty.
Another scene is the search for the perfect Christmas tree and hauling it back to the house on top of the family’s Ford Taurus Wagon. Also located there is what remains of Clark’s sled and a bottle of non-chloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant.
The spray worked too well.
“We also have a scene from the home,” said Pennington. “We have the dinner table, complete with Aunt Bethany’s Jell-O with cat food and moose cups for eggnog. Over here we have the chair and the cat that used all its nine lives. Here’s the tree. It wouldn’t be complete without a squirrel.”
Hanging from one wall is a fake Clark, which depicts the scene where he became suspended from the gutter after losing the ladder. On the floor beneath him is the knot of Christmas lights Rusty was tasked with untangling.
In the school hallway, walls are decorated with scenes of snow falling, trees and people skiing and sledding. Look closely because each has the head of a school employee.
Extreme decorations are nothing new for the school.
Its lobby is routinely decorated for major holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Mr. (Gerald) Tidwell allowed us to decorate,” said Pennington. “He understood that it was important for morale and instilled school spirit. Principal (Alisa) Rice encourages us to continue that tradition. The kids love it. They don’t mess with anything. We add details and change things to keep them engaged. Decorating is fun for us and everyone who walks through the lobby loves it.”
School staff decorated the lobby in one day. They used and in-service day on Nov. 22 so students would be surprised by the finished product when they returned the next school day.