December 22, 2007

Skipping Christmas

I read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham a couple years ago. Judging by the previews (haven't seen it), the book was made into a poor slapstick version called Christmas with the Kranks. It is an interesting read.

The story is about a couple that decides to bypass the holiday for one year. Their one child is in college and is not coming home this year. The couple decides to get away and take a cruise over the holiday. Their neighbors and community feel betrayed and angry.

Their neighborhood is one where everyone decorates their home with a Frosty theme and everyone participates. When the Kranks don't decorate, the neighbors turn on them. When the boy scouts come by to sell them a Christmas tree, the Kranks say no, but promise to donate the amount they would have spent on the tree. The boy scouts simply don't understand.

In the end, the daughter decides to come home for Christmas after all, setting off a mad scramble to get a tree, decorate, and provide a Christmas dinner. Friends and neighbors come to the rescue, providing the warm/happy ending. It is interesting the backlash the Kranks experience until Christmas is "unskipped". There is a lot of emotion wrapped up in the holiday, not all of it festive.

I've thought a bit about skipping Christmas for a year. In reality I just want to leave some of the craziness behind. I would like a holiday of just spending time with friends and family. No gifts, no time at the mall.

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