Skipping Christmas

When I was small, Christmas was always the time when we took out the small green tree and 


lovingly decorated it with bells, confetti, gift-wrapped tiny matchboxes and a Golden Angel on top. 

“T’is the season to be jolly, Fa La La La La….”

I remember even Cartoon Network having Christmas Specials. Cartoon Network at that time was so nice. The Cartoons were so simple… Sccoby Doo, Little Lulu Show, The Adams Family, Captain Planet!!! Those Days were good.

We used to drive to Mount Mary at night on 25th and watch all the cribs and have a cake from somewhere!!

Christmas has always been a special part of my life in spite of us not being Christians. That’s what made me choose this book.

The Synopsis reads,

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

A classic tale for modern times from a beloved storyteller, John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.

It seems like such a novel idea. Christmas is a massive waste of money anyway. Luther’s irrefutable logic of saving $ 6100 which usually went in Sundries for Christmas, is the main theme of the book.

Throughout the chapters, Luther and Nora discover myriad reactions to their decision to spend Christmas on a cruise instead of hosting people for a party.

The author seems frustrated with the Christmas spirit and how Commercial it has become now. Those age old traditions replaced by  marketing gimmicks isn’t a pleasant sight. Neither are the long queues, the fights while cleaning the house and decorating the tree. Or the distasteful looks when your gift isn’t what the recipient wanted.

Luther wins appreciation of people at work and Nora has to battle the social consequences of their decision. Their only daughter has volunteered to go with the Peace Corps and this seems like a good idea to relax.

The Kranks’ face social isolation and theirs is the only house without lights. They don’t have a christmas tree and haven’t donated to the Firemen by buying their fruitcake or the police by buying 4-5 calendars that they never use.

At one point, the negative criticism of Christmas is depressing to the point. Luther and Nora hang on with their life to their decision even though everyone on their street has now boycotted them.

Their whole world turns upside down when their daughter Blair calls from Miami airport telling them that she is home for Christmas and expects a nice, cosy, homely Christmas as she is used to. There begins Nora’s frantic attempt to reconstruct Christmas even with the bare minimum ingredients available in the local market and Luther’s attempt to borrow a holidaying neighbor’s Christmas Tree.

Luther, while hanging up Frosty the Snowman almost dies and vow’s never to skip Christmas again.

This book was typical of Western Exuberance. It shows the decay and the materialism in the Western Society. Come to think of it, there are so many people in the world who are too poor to even afford a meal when millions of dollars are wasted on Christmas Trees and fruitcake and small gifts that are not even used.

Luther and Nora’s daughter Blair herself mentions that she loses track of days teaching the poor in Peru, who don’t even know what Christmas is like. In a way, perhaps i expected a more positive book about maybe celebrating Christmas differently.

2 star

My Review: 2/5

The book started by showing great promise but like the other John Grisham books, disappointed me.

There is a bit of a comic side and the story is fun to follow. It runs out of steam towards the end when you start asking the question, “Now What?”

This book can be overlooked for something more exciting and with some more substance.


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