Friday, 1 December 2017

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Publication date: 6th November 2001
Published by: DoubleDay

Publisher's synopsis
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, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.

My Review

Skipping Christmas is an alternative look at the festive occasion.  Here is a couple who have decided, in order to get through their first Christmas without their daughter (who has grown up and left the nest and is spending time overseas), to skip Christmas and use the money they will save to go on a Caribbean Cruise.

The story shows just how difficult it is to withdraw from Christmas for someone who habitually celebrates it.  It is fine if it is against your religion, so you never do, or if you are an atheist, but if you just decide to opt out one year, it is not fine at all.  

There is plenty of comedy in this book but it is also very true, and truth can be uncomfortable.  Most of the people in this book prefer conformity, not only conforming themselves but expecting those around them to conform, alsoThey don't like it when people upset the status quo - possibly for fear of change: others might follow suite and the outcome could be that Christmas may disappear from our lives - foreverThey believe it is better to force everyone to join in and the Kranks are in danger of becoming social outcasts for not doing so.  The Kranks continue to behave in a rebellious manner, even though it is being made increasingly difficult for them, and they do not care about the consequences.  I kept thinking, for goodness sake people, they have no intention of giving up Christmas forever, just for one year

I learned from this story that skipping Christmas is a bit like escaping captivity.  The only way is to secretly plan your escape, and do so as quickly as possible (the closer it gets to Christmas Day, the harder it will become). Then, when they least expect it and when no one is looking, grab your luggage and run!!!!  

It is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but Skipping Christmas is an excellent book, in my opinion.