Do You “Go Griswold” when Decorating for the Holidays?

You Could Win a Chance to

Plug-in 25,000 Twinkle Lights at A Christmas Story House & Museum

Send a photo of your Clark Griswold-like decorating skills, and win a trip to light the home used in filming A Christmas Story, celebrating two Christmas classics at once.

CLEVELAND (October 26, 2009) – “Is your house on fire, Clark?“ “No, Aunt Bethany, those are Christmas lights.”

Everyone knows someone like Clark Griswold, the goofy-but-lovable dad, played by Chevy Chase, in the 1989 movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Clark’s mission to create a memorable family Christmas, which included stapling his home with 25,000 twinkle lights, became a pop-culture symbol for the friend, family member or neighbor who decorates in over-the-top Clark Griswold fashion each year.

This holiday season marks the 20th anniversary of the quirky Christmas classic and to commemorate, the actual house used in the filming of another favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story, will be decorated with 25,000 twinkle lights. The person who most represents the Clark Griswold approach to Christmas can win a chance to ceremoniously plug-in the lights. Brian Jones, owner of the Cleveland-located A Christmas Story House & Museum (, said, “It’s classics like Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story that everyone loves most, because it reminds them of the less-than-perfect, but still endearing, people in their lives who will do anything to make the holidays special for those they love.” He added, “In this spirit, we want to celebrate the people out there who strive each year to go big for the love of the holiday season.”

The Griswold Contest

From now until November 13, 2009, contestants can email photos or a YouTube video link of a home that they have decorated in true Griswold fashion to along with a description, in 200 words or less, of how they feel they reflect the spirit of Clark Griswold at Christmas. One lucky winner will win the opportunity to come to A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland to officially plug-in the lights on Saturday, November 21, 2009. Included for the winner and a guest are: $1000 in travel expense; a 2-night stay at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel; an exclusive, guided tour of the Museum, by owner Brian Jones including a close-up look at the items in a special “Ralphie and Randy” collection; and dinner at the Pearl of the Orient while in town. The winner will also receive a “major award” leg lamp, a set of moose mugs and $200 shopping spree in the gift shop. Photos will be displayed on so that people can see the Clark Griswold-inspired decorating that goes on around the country! The winner will be announced the week of November 16, 2009. (For official rules, go to

“We promise we won’t staple the winner’s shirt to the house, or ask them to check every bulb!” Brian joked.

About A Christmas Story House & Museum

A Christmas Story House & Museum, located in Cleveland, Ohio’s Tremont neighborhood, is the original Parker family home from the 1983 holiday film in which Ralphie pleads for a Red Ryder BB Gun although everyone assures him he will only shoot his eye out. Visitors to the house take a nostalgic journey through the sights and scenes of the film, including visiting memorable spots such as the backyard where Ralphie battled Black Bart, under the sink where little brother Randy hid because “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie!”, and the bathroom where Ralphie’s decoder ring helps him to decipher, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.” Of course, the front window is graced with “the soft glow of electric sex” from the Old Man’s leg lamp, which he called a “major award.” In addition, the museum contains hundreds of photographs and original props, including the “I can’t put my arms down” snowsuit.

The house was purchased in 2004 by 33-year-old San Diego native Brian Jones, a fan of the movie and founder of Jones saw the house listed on eBay, made an offer of $150,000, spent $240,000 to renovate the outside and make the inside match the movie’s sound stage, and opened it as a tourist destination Thanksgiving weekend 2006. Since that time, A Christmas Story House and Museum has hosted more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world. To further celebrate Christmas Vacation’s 20-year milestone, the gift shop is offering Moose Mugs just like the ones Clark and Cousin Eddie used to toast eggnog.

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A Christmas Story starred the late Darren McGavin as The Old Man and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie who famously pleaded for a Red Ryder BB gun, although everyone assured him he would only shoot his eye out. The film became a holiday favorite years after its theatrical release and is celebrated annually on cable with a daylong marathon.

A Christmas Story House & Museum is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th St. in the Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tours of the house run every 30 minutes. Regular admission tickets are $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children (ages 7 to 12) and free for children ages 6 and under. For more information or for directions, visit or call 216-298-4919.


Jodi O’Neill
216-912-2855 or

Jill Doherty
216-912-2847 or

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