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December 26, 2018 - 1:45pm

Contrary to appearances, Clark Griswold did not move to Pavilion in time for Christmas

posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, Christmas, news.

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A family in Pavilion had a very Griswold-Christmas this year, outfitting the family wagon with an uprooted Christmas tree, decorating with a greased-up sled, tangled lights on an old camper -- all staples of the 1989 classic comedy, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold.

“We watch the movie every year,” Jesse Coots told 13WHAM. “We love it.”

What started as a good laugh about imitating the movie became a reality for the Coots family.

“We got joking about how the movie goes, and how they uproot the Christmas tree and all that jazz,” he said. “We like to laugh around here, so I was sitting around one day, just screwing around and looking for station wagons, and we found this one, and it’s got 33,000 original miles.

“I kind of surprised the wife and the kids and made a deal in the middle of the night, and this guy brought it out,” he continued. “Bought it, and we uprooted a Christmas tree with a couple of friends of mine and tied her up, strapped it up, Chevy Chase-style.”

The Coots family had intended for theirs to be an inside joke – but they couldn’t contain their neighbors’ glee.

“Really, it was just going to be between us, then a couple people posted videos of us driving through town, and the community kind of laughed,” said Coots.

And that humor, says Coots, is what the display is all about.

“Every night, there’s cars pulling up, and I like it because they’re here to laugh, and that’s what we like to do, is laugh,” he said. “It’s good for your heart.

“I have gotten so many nice phone calls and emails and text messages about how it’s brightened people’s spirits and made them laugh,” he said, “and a lot of people have told me they get on Facebook every day to see what kind of nonsense we’re up to with this.”

Will it be a Christmas tradition? Coots isn’t sure – but he says, if it is, his kids will be on board.

“I build custom cars for a living,” he said. “You’d think, all the great cars I have, they would love some of the hot rods. They love this stock station wagon more than anything. They don’t want it to go!”

Story and photos courtesy our news partner, 13WHAM

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