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.
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham follows Luther and Nora Krank who are simply fed up of Christmas and all of the traditions that comes with it, including the enormous expenditure. When their daughter leaves for a year, they decide that Christmas isn’t worth having and after futher discussion, they decide to skip Christmas all together and go on a cruise. However, when their daughter decides last minute to come home for Christmas instead, their plans are ruined.
There isn’t a single character in this book that I would consider likeable. The main character was Luther and the story is told from mostly his perspective. He was a rude, snobby character who immediately put a bad taste in his mouth. I always really hate it when a character seems to despise their significant other and Luther was one of these. He seemed to get annoyed by every single thing she did and instead of wishing they could have this first holiday in twenty-five years without their daughter, I spent the time wondering why they were even still married. Luther also made a few comments whilst shopping that were looking down on low paying jobs that were insensitive and even getting offended when the lady selling him the cruise thought he worked in a lower department and was on a lower wage than what he was actually on.
His wife Nora was just as awful. She seemed to have an obsession with her daughter, that her husband resented her for, and appeared to not have a life outside of being her mother. So when her daughter decided to leave for a year to go to Peru, Nora didn’t really have anything else going on in her life. She only cared about appearences and achieved very little character depth beyond that. The only thing really important to her was keeping up their appearences and good standings within their very white and upperclass neighbourhood.
I feel like the momentum for the novel arrived too late. It is a short book and we were well over half way – maybe even three quarters of the way through – when their daughter, Blair, revealed she would actually be joining them for Christmas. There was a little bit of a mad scramble to get some things together in time for Christmas, but I was expecting a lot more from it and for it to last longer. It felt like the most excitement was trying to find people to attend their Christmas party. It was very bland.
There were a few racist comments in the book, in particular towards their daughters fiance who was Peruvian. There was a moment where they became worried that he would be really dark and then they were overwhelmed with relief when he was not dark. There were also comments about his English being good and them being shocked that he could speak English despite never being to the US. It was unnecessary and really drove home my dislike for this book.
You can purchase Skipping Christmas: here*
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I don’t recommend this book. Have you read this? Is the film any better?