Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Page by Malik Foreman



John Grisham Biography
John Ray Grisham, Jr. was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. His parents, Wanda Skidmore Grisham and John Grisham, had six kids with John being the second oldest. His mom, a homemaker, and his dad, a construction worker and cotton farmer, worked hard to prepare their kids for college. Despite the fact that both of the parents lacked a formal education, Grisham wandered so much during college that he ended up changing colleges three times before completing a degree. He eventually graduated from Mississippi State University in 1977, receiving a BS degree in accounting. He later attended the University Of Mississippi School Of Law in 1981 and practiced criminal law for about a decade. He even served in the House of Representatives of Mississippi for about six years (1984-1990). Grisham married Renee Jones on May 8, 1981 and they have two kids: Shea and Ty. Grisham had his first novel, A Time To Kill, in June 1989. His inspiration to write this book and to begin writing came a court case in 1984, where a little girl was beaten and raped by her own father. Grisham said as he looked around the court room and saw as the jury cried when she told them this horrific story, that a story was born.



Book Characters
Luther Krank is the husband of Nora Krank and the father of Blair Krank. He is very stubborn, something like Scrooge, but loves his family dearly. As the story comes to the end his soft side comes out of him.
Nora Krank is the wife of Luther Krank and the mother of Blair Krank. She is a very kind and loving person that tries to see the best in people and make everyone happy. But as the story goes on, she isn’t as loving and caring as she usually is.
Blair Krank is the daughter of Nora and Luther and is on a trip to western Peru with the Peace Corps to teach at school. As Christmas rolls around she has a very interesting presents for her parents that they will never forget.
Mr. Frohmeyer is the Kranks next door neighbor that is basically in charge of the neighborhoods Christmas festivities and decorations. Luther Krank despises his but that later changes when Luther realizes Frohmeyer is a very kind and caring man.



Book Summary
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham is a book about Christmas, obviously, and not taking the time you spend with your friends and family during Christmas for granted. The main family is this book is the Kranks, who consist of Nora(Mother), Luther(Father), and Blair(Daughter). Blair is going on a trip to western Peru to teach a small school for the Peace Corps. She will be gone for a year and will unfortunately be missing Christmas with her family for the first time…ever. Nora, her mother, is devastated that she will not be with them this Christmas and never stops worry about Blair and her safety. With Blair leaving, Nora believes that this Christmas will not be the same without her. Which somehow got Luther thinking, how much do they really spend on one day of the year? He tallied up all the expenses from decorations, gifts, and entertainment with added up to about 6,100 dollars. He wonders to himself why do they put so much time and money into all these things that they will only use once. Then it came to him.. he was going to skip Christmas! He surprised Nora one day by telling her they were going to skip Christmas and go on a cruise on the Island Princess. Nora is skeptical at first but eventually agrees to the getaway, because she too does not want to go through the hustle and bustle of Christmas. When word gets out to their neighborhood and neighbors, they objected to their decision to skip the holiday. Not because they cared what the Kranks did, but because if they didn’t celebrate the holiday then they will more than likely not have any decorations up at their house. Every year there is a competition between the streets in the neighborhood to see which street is the best decorated, and with the Kranks not even acknowledging the holiday, their street was sure to lose. No Christmas tree, no frosty the snow man, no lights, no fire department calendar, no Christmas cards, and no fruitcakes. Luther Krank was determined to ignore Christmas completely and enjoy his cruise. Getting through the hard months of the scolds and torture from their own neighbors, their cruise was just one day away. It was Christmas Eve and it seemed like everything was going to change for the better until they got a surprising call from their daughter, Blair. She was at the Miami International Airport with her fiancé on her way home to surprise her parents. Nora and Luther had no idea what to do, to say the least. How could they tell their only daughter to turn around and go back because they were skipping Christmas to go on a cruise? Luther was actually considering but Nora couldn’t allow it and began setting up for her daughter’s arrival. They frantically called to send out last minute invites to their annual Christmas party that they had previously cancelled, and put up last minute decorations that they weren’t even considering putting up. Every one of their friends had already made other plans to go to different parties and Luther was not trying to put up the decorations. But it was for their little girl so they ended up inviting their neighbors to the party and Luther found it in him to put up the decorations. With a lot of hard work and a lot of patience, they got the party and house ready for their daughter and her fiancé’s first Christmas together. It ended up being a great success but there was still one thing to take care of. The Kranks were obviously not going on the cruise even though it had already been paid for, so Luther decided to give it to their neighbors, Bev and Walt Scheel. Bev was fighting cancer so Luther thought it would be nice to give it to them because it this might be the last Christmas the couple gets to spend together. In doing this, Luther finally realizes why this holiday is so special, and plans to never attempt to skip it again.


Book Review
I highly recommend the reading of Skipping Christmas by John Grisham because it is a very great read. It is not very long but it tells a very good and inspirational story. It is so good that it was made into a movie called Christmas with the Kranks, directed by Joe Ruth. But back to the book, Skipping Christmas tells a great story about how you should always cherish the time you have with the people you love around Christmas time. John Grisham is a much respected author that has written a ton of books, and even though this doesn’t rank with the ones he has written in the past, I still recommend it. John Grisham really hit the head on the needle in this book, when he specifies the craziness and surprises that Christmas brings every year. He shows how much hustle and bustle goes into getting ready for the holiday that everyone waits for each year. From the parties, decorations, presents, and Christmas cards he shows how much time and effort goes into getting ready for Christmas. He shows how all this money is spent for all these things just for one holiday that will never be used again. He also shows how the Christmas season can change the hearts of others and their Christmas spirit. He portrays Luther as this Scrooge type figure, that hates Christmas and everything that is involved. But later in the story he shows how when everybody comes together as a family, it is truly a beautiful thing. He also shows how even though it is a beautiful holiday; it can also come with some unexpected surprises. I believe he does a tremendous job of portraying everything that takes place in this holiday. You never really realize what all goes into this event until you break it down like Grisham does. This upcoming Christmas you should keep up with all your transactions and see how much you are spending for this special holiday. It is crazy how much money and chaos one day could stir up. He also shows how the Christmas spirit can turn worst enemies into friends. Christmas time is about giving and making others happy, and I believe he got that point across very well. It is truly amazing how one day can change your whole perspective of life. Christmas sort of brings everyone together and tha is why it is one of my favorite holidays. It is not always about the presents and decorations, but spending time with the people you love and having a good time. It does not really tell about the true meaning of Christmas but it still tells a good story. Grisham is mainly known for his sports books but shows his precise skill as a writer in this novel, and that he can write any sort of book. I respect him as an author and plan on reading more of his books as well. I am not a very big fan of reading but this book made me realize how fun and inspirational it can be.

Citations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Grisham

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