A man in Canada re-created the iconic Griswold house lights display from ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ — right down to Cousin Eddie’s RV parked out front

Griswold house National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

  • A man in Alberta, Canada, has transformed his home for the holidays, in an homage to one of the most iconic Christmas movies: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
  • Jon Harringa told Insider that it took about $1,500, 40,000 lights, and countless trips to the store to bring the project together.
  • The elaborate display features several instantly recognizable references to the movie.
  • "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" follows the misadventures of Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, and his immediate and extended family as they celebrate Christmas together.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jon Harringa loves watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." He told Insider he's watched it five or six times already this year. 

In fact, Harringa loves the movie so much, he's given his home a Griswold-themed makeover for the holidays. 

The entire home is wrapped in multicolored lights and has characters from the iconic Christmas movie, like Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie, in its yard.

A front view of Harringa's elaborate light display.
Jon Harringa

"It took me 15 days this year, and those were full days. Some days were 16 hours, some were 10, some were eight," Harringa told Insider while explaining how long it took to bring his holiday masterpiece to life. 

He estimates that it took about $1,500, almost 40,000 lights, and countless trips to Canadian Tire to bring the project together.

Harringa, who lives in Stony Plains, Alberta, in Canada, said he had some help from his father-in-law but he was on his own for the most part.

The home depicts several iconic scenes from the 1989 Christmas movie

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" was released in 1989. The late John Hughes, one of the 1980s' most prominent filmmakers, wrote and produced the movie, which was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, and Randy Quaid.

The movie follows the Griswolds as patriarch Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, insists on going all out to give his family the best Christmas he can. The movie starts with the family's misadventures while on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree and things only get more chaotic from there. Along the way, they're joined by two sets of irritable grandparents who simply cannot get along and some extended family members who weren't exactly invited. 

A good portion of the first half of the movie is devoted to Clark trying to get the elaborate Christmas light display on the exterior of the house to work. Harringa's display includes a Clark dummy holding cords.

Harringa brought back Clark desperately trying to get the lights to work.
Warner Bros./Jon Harringa

One of the more iconic scenes from the movie involves an interloping family member, Cousin Eddie, as he stands out in the yard in a short white robe and smokes a cigar while emptying their mobile home's sewer hose. 

"The shitter was full," Eddie cheerily proclaims to horrified neighbors in one of the movie's most often-quoted lines.

Sure enough, there's also an Eddie dummy, in all his robed glory, holding a hose on Harringa's lawn.

Cousin Eddie also made it to Harringa's yard.
Warner Bros./Jon Harringa

Harringa started with the roof of his house, before making his way to the exterior walls, and finishing with the decorations on the yard.  

"I have lights from the peak of my house down to a cable that I have run across the driveway from the two posts on either side," he told Insider. "That was fairly time-consuming, I would say. That was probably the hardest part this year."

A lot of time went into "getting organized and mapping it out," Harringa said.

Harringa spent two weeks transforming his home.
Courtesy of Jon Harringa

Harringa has been decorating his home 'a little bit more than the average person would' for about 7 years now

Harringa and his family moved into their house seven years ago. 

"I made a promise to my wife. She loves Christmas. More specifically [it was for] when our kids were little, but she still loves Christmas and asked, if, when we moved into town, I would put up more decorations." Harringa told Insider. "It started there." 

Harringa has been decorating their home annually, with each year's decor becoming more elaborate than the one before. As a result, he already owned most of the lights used in his Griswold-themed display this year.

An aerial view of the full display at Harringa's house.
Jon Harringa

In the movie, the Griswolds' neighbors Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Luis-Dreyfus, are decisively unimpressed by Clark's antics. 

Harringa's neighbors are better at getting into the spirit, he told Insider. 

"A lot of them love it," he said, adding that a few neighboring homes have even indulged in some friendly competition to see if they can out-decorate one another.

Harringa told Insider that he's also collecting donations for a local food bank in the form of cash and non-perishable food items if people who visit the home to see his lights wish to make donations.

He already has plans for what to do for Christmas next year, but he said he'd like to keep them private for now.

"I like to leave a little element of surprise to it, and now, to keep people coming back," Harringa said.

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