Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, 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 the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; 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, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.
I have only read a couple of John Grisham books, which I have enjoyed, and even though this is not his ‘classic’ work, I really enjoyed this book too. In Skipping Christmas Grisham looks at the madness that Christmas has become – throwing huge parties, drunkenness, spending heaps of money, and the ridiculous decorations. He looks at the idea of just not participating in this game, and the reactions people have to that idea. And he did it so well.
This book is very funny. From a practical sense I can see why someone would be tempted to miss out the celebration – especially in the case of the Krank’s, when they were paying over $6000 on the holiday. I think Grisham is writing a brave book here because people do spend a large amount of money and he seems to be questioning if that is OK. I think he did it very well – although as lovely as the ending is I think he wimped out a bit. That said – parts of the ending were just hilarious, especially the incident with Frosty…
I liked the Krank’s, I found them very likable and enjoyable to read. I found myself feeling very sorry for them when they were seemingly victimised, especially by their neighbours. I also laughed along with them, and panicked when the phone call from their daughter came. I really connected them, and that made the book even more enjoyable.
This book is 200 pages long, and I read 150 pages in one sitting. It is quick, funny and hugely enjoyable. This is a really good Christmas novel. With a slightly different ending this would get tops marks.