With a cute cover and holiday-themed title, Skipping Christmas had all the right stuff to entice me to read it. Having an obvious Scrooge-like sentiment as its title, I wanted to know what would make someone have that mentality, and how they could pull it off in a modern world.
Luther Krank, the tax accountant protagonist, decides he will not participate in Christmas, and he means all of it – the money spent being his number one complaint. Living in a large city where he is constantly, aggressively bombarded with pleas for his charity and goodwill, he decides to forgo Christmas and take his wife on a luxury cruise instead. What follows is a “shock and awe” reaction from his friends, coworkers and neighbors. No Frosty the Snowman on his roof? No annual Christmas dinner for 50 of his closest friends? No tree, calendar, fruitcake purchased for the Boy Scouts, Policemen's Charity, Fireman's toy drive? Scandalous! Ridiculous! Unheard of!
Although not everyone will experience the Krank's stress during the Holidays, everyone has experienced some form of these stressors: traffic congestion, sickness, absent children, needy people, greedy people, bad weather, etc. I could understand why Luther decided to escape to a tropical climate and indulge in a little “me time.” But his carefully calculated scheme unravels and is rewoven into a celebration of a different sort, one with an unusual twist, wrapped in kindness and generosity.
Snow or no snow, presents or no presents, in sickness and in health, Christmas will come and go, and this story emphasizes that it's how we behave and live out our values that matter much more than whether everything looked, smelled and tasted picture-perfect. After all, that only happens in our dreams!
Publisher: Doubleday, 2002 Pages: 177 Source: purchased copy