'Christmas Vacation' cast, 25 years later

Story highlights

  • "Christmas Vacation" celebrates its 25th anniversary this year
  • The movie was the third in the National Lampoon "Vacation" series
  • It was written by John Hughes based on one of his short stories

(CNN)Ready for your "Christmas Vacation"? Just make sure you pack an ax.

In 1989, the Griswold family wasn't so lucky in National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation," the third movie in a franchise that included 1983's inaugural "Vacation," 1985's "European Vacation" and 1997's "Vegas Vacation."
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik in his feature film debut, "Christmas Vacation" reunited Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold, Chicago-area parents of two who never seem to get the "vacation" concept quite right.
    The story, like the original "Vacation," was written by John Hughes and based on his 1980 National Lampoon piece, "Christmas '59."
    While the plot is filled with the usual gags about the disaster-prone Griswolds, it also happens to perfectly capture the hope a lot of us feel around the holidays: the desire to have the biggest and best celebration ever, even if that means stringing up an insane number of tiny, twinkling lights that nearly blind our neighbors and knock out power for the entire neighborhood.
    When "Christmas Vacation" premiered in December 1989, it opened in second place at the box office and went on to gross $71.3 million domestically. Without adjusting for inflation, it's the most successful "Vacation" movie of the series.
    According to The Hollywood Reporter, there will soon be another title to add to the franchise. Simply called "Vacation," the upcoming movie will focus on the Griswold's son Rusty, who in the new movie will be an adult taking his own family on a getaway.
    Ed Helms has signed on to play the grown-up Rusty Griswold with Leslie Mann as his sister, Audrey, and Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo making cameos as the Griswold parents.
    That movie is expected to arrive in fall 2015, but in the meantime, we're celebrating "Christmas Vacation." In honor of the holiday classic's 25th anniversary, we're catching up with where the cast is now in the gallery above.