Book Review: Skipping Christmas

19 Dec

521019Imagine 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.

grisham_bio_picA graduate of Mississippi State University and Ole Miss Law School, John Grisham obtained his law degree in 1981 and practiced law for about 10 years, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1983 and served until 1990. He gave up his law practice to write full-time. He began writing in 1984, and three years later finished his first novel, A Time To Kill, published by Wynwood Press in June 1988. He is the best-selling author of A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief and The Client.


My Impressions:

Skipping Christmas was my church book club’s December selection. It was also a book that we shared with the ladies at the transitional center where I volunteer. We met last Thursday for food, fellowship, and a time of discussing what really matters at Christmas. Grisham’s book is a light-hearted look at a couple who decide to skip the holiday chaos for a 10 day Caribbean cruise. While their neighbors, co-workers and friends are in the middle of the holiday craziness, they congratulate themselves on avoiding all the nonsense. That is, until their daughter informs them that she will be home for Christmas. Then they embark on a decorating, shopping and party-making frenzy.

While most of us enjoyed the funny portrayal of Luther’s attempt to skip Christmas, we were disappointed that Grisham did not use the book to focus a little more on the true meaning of Christmas. And though we realized that the targeted audience was secular, it would have been nice to have a bit more mention of Jesus’ birth. We also were disappointed that Luther failed to give to charities, something he and his wife agreed would not be missing from the year’s skipped celebration. But the book did spark a lot of discussion — what needs to be skipped, what just can’t be left out and our families’ traditions – past and present. Many of the ladies at the center won’t be with family this year. It was great to have a time to talk about what Christmas is really all about.

So while Skipping Christmas is fluffy, it did lead to deep discussions. So I would recommend this book for book clubs looking for a quick read for their December discussions.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased the hardcover copy of this book years ago. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Skipping Christmas”

  1. Carole December 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Very sharp review, Beckie. I read this several years ago and loved the humor. But you’re right in that Grisham missed several opportunities when it comes matters of faith.

    • rbclibrary December 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Thanks Carole. This was a reread for me. I remember liking it more the first time. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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