December’s theme for the McBride Library Book Club was “Festive Reads”, something that would go along with the Holiday Season. I always enjoy reading books by John Grisham, and saw “Skipping Christmas,” a book I had never heard of on the shelf so chose it to read. If you are in the mood for a light, short, Christmas themed book you might want to try it.
Here is my review:
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
This was a very short book all about the Kranks, a suburban couple whose daughter had just graduated from university then had volunteered for the Peace Corp and a job in Peru helping poor children. Her absence left the couple with an empty nest, and a dread of the upcoming Holiday Season.
Out of curiosity, the husband, who was an accountant checked their records to see how much they had spent on last year’s Christmas and was appalled to discover it was over $6,000. He was not a big fan of Christmas anyway, and with all that expense, and the absence of his daughter, he persuaded his wife they should just skip Christmas and instead go on a Caribbean Cruise.
The wife was hesitant to drop all of their ingrained Christmas traditions, but in the end relented to go on the cruise. The book then focuses on all the social pressures thrust upon them by neighbors, coworkers, and friends who all expected them to stick with established Yuletide traditions. Mr Krank goes through the litany of negative characteristics about Christmas, (all of which I too believe), in an attempt to rationalize his decision to skip Christmas.
Despite the fact that everyone had been told that the couple was skipping Christmas and going on a cruise, the Kranks continue to be pressured and hounded by neighbors who want them to decorate their house as normal and buy all the usual Christmas Season things. The pressures just harden the Krank’s resolve to skip Christmas.
Then in the middle of the book on Christmas Eve morning, the day before their cruise, after weeks of alienating and angering all their friends and neighbors because of their refusal to take part in all the usual Christmas hullabaloo, the phone rings, they answer it, and suddenly the Kranks are stunned as everything changes, all of their planning comes to nought, and they are left scrambling around and the book turns to humor.
That's about as much of the story as I am going to tell you, but you can read it without fear and with the knowledge that it is set firmly in the realm of other Christmas stories, and like all the others, it all ends warmly and happily.
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