#12 Books of Christmas - Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Welcome to Day 6 of #12 Books of Christmas
Missed any? Don't worry I've listed them below.
Day 1 - Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Day 2 - The Box of Delights by John Masefield
Day 3 - The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan
Day 4 - Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
Day 5 - The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater
Each year my husband and I partake in what we have lovingly christened 'Christmas Film Sunday'. Unsurprisingly this takes place on a Sunday in December (well doh!). We prepare a mini buffet (think homemade sausage rolls, mini pizzas, homemade bread rolls, dips and crudites) and curl up to watch a couple of Christmas movies, all the while helping ourselves to the buffet when we fancy a nibble. We start by watching my selection (not going to lie it is usually 'The Muppet Christmas Carol', then a film of both our choosing and always finish with my husband's choice which he lovingly terms 'THE Christmas movie' - 'Die Hard'. Nothing says Christmas more than Bruce Willis running around the Nakatomi tower in a dirty, white singlet evidently.
Films, especially Christmas ones are important to us. The Christmas film marathon begins for us just after the US has celebrated Thanksgiving with 'Christmas with the Cranks'. This movie is based on 'Skipping Christmas' by John Grisham in a departure from his usual legal thrillers.
When their daughter, Blair, sets off for a year long assignment with the Peace Corps in Peru, Luther and Nora Krank dreading Christmas, decide to 'skip it' choosing to go on a 10 day cruise instead. This means no tree, no cards, no gifts and definitely no Frosty the Snowman perched on top of their house. But this decision has enormous consequences for the couple as their neighbours are determined to make them partake in the festive period. And then they receive a phone call on Christmas Eve, Blair is coming home in time with her new fiance just in time for Christmas. Can they put Christmas back in without Blair ever finding out?
This is a lovely book with 2 very sweet sides. The first is a comment on how frenzied Christmas has become. Nora and Luther usually spend the festive period frantically shopping for the best gifts, expensive Christmas cards and new dresses for the Christmas party. They fight in supermarkets for the correct ham or last Turkey. It really is a comment on the chaos and expense of the holiday period.
But then John Grisham warmly demonstrates that it isn't how much you spend, but who you spend it with, in this case family, friends and neighbours. The neighbours and community rally around marvellously to ensure that Blair receives a proper Krank Christmas and in the process become an extended part of the Krank family. It is a lovely message to read.
So my lovelies, if you are feeling worn out and stressed with endless lists to create the perfect Christmas. Just remember no-one will remember how much you may have spent on a Christmas Card, hand engraved from a snooty store. But they will remember curling up watching a film with a sausage roll and a tin of Quality Street. Take a moment, breathe and if you have time read this little gem or watch the movie which faithfully recreates the novel.