Home / Books / Skipping Christmas By John Grisham | Book Review

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham | Book Review

Christmas is considered as the biggest festival in the countries where Christians are in majority. Most of the western countries do celebrate this festival with joy and they wait for the same throughout the year.

It would not be wrong the say that Christmas is celebrated almost throughout the world. The intensity may be different.

There are so many films are made where Christmas celebrations are at the center. Who can forget the famous Home Alone series?!

So, the idea of skipping Christmas, seems to be unbelievable, especially when the story is set-up in US/UK, right?

John Grisham, the popular writer, who is famous for his legal thrillers, actually has explore many other genres as well. Yes, you read it right. He also has written books where baseball is nothing less than a character and he wrote for cancer awareness also.

So when we came to know about his book “Skipping Christmas“, we picked it up, as we were curious to see how he has explored this, rather a different “story setup”.

Book Cover:

Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham | Book Cover

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham | Book Cover

As you can see, the book has multiple versions, each having a different cover page. While one version has the colors of sun, the other one is dominated with a shade of green. Both have their own unique attributes, but I found the right one more appealing.

You may think that either an illustration of Santa Claus or Christmas tree could have been a better choice, but remember, the book is about “Skipping Christmas”. The protagonist is planning a vacation at a beach, and as both the cover pages reflect the same, they are faithful to the story.

I consider them moderately good cover pages which could have been better.


Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story.

Luther his wife Nora and their daughter Blair, are a happy small family. Nora, inspired by one of her friends, has decided to spend next few months helping others, working on a social cause. Her assignment was in Eastern Peru, and she was about to leave for there.

Neither of the parents were happy with the fact that their only child would not be there with them to celebrate Christmas, for the first time since she was born. Luther was in foul mood as expected.

Luther and Nora came to see-off Blair at the airport and seeing her dissolving into the crowd of passengers is emotionally a tough event for them to handle. While Luther is strong and practical, Nora, like every other mother in the world, is very much worried about her daughter. And, it is not a surprise that every few minutes after seeing her off, she wanted to know “if Blair is ok”.

The truth is, Blair has left for her assignment and now the parents are alone. Busy with their jobs and other day-to-day activities, of course.

Luther has a feeling that every Christmas they do an exercise of choosing cards for invitation and greeting, decorating home, sending gifts, shopping for unnecessary stuff, and much more; and all of them could be avoided. It will allow them to save some money and have a good trip at a place where they can spend quality time and recharge themselves.

So, he decided that this time, they should skip Christmas celebration!

The first hurdle would be to convince Nora and then their friends and family members and the neighbours, and … Well, the list is long.

What happens when the news is out? Will they be able to skip Christmas celebration and have quality time together somewhere far away? Or any or many things go wrong (as they can) during the course of events?!

Well, you can read the book to get your answers. And, over the course of the story you meet Blair, Luther Krank, Nora, Biff, Aubie, Mr. Scanlon, Mr. Frohmeyer, Mrs. Frohmeyer, Candi, Merry, Trogdon, Mrs. Ellen Mulholland, Walt Scheel, Salino, amongst others.

Views and Reviews:

Have you seen Arnold Schwarzenegger starring movie – Jingle All The Way?! Have you enjoyed it?

If yes, then, this book is a perfect choice for you. You will surely enjoy reading it.

Spread over in 20 chapters – Skipping Christmas – turns out to be a pleasant surprise, to us.

It is the first book focused on humour and satire – by John Grisham, read by any of our team members. And, we all loved it.

In my opinion, the way John has taken the characters from the real life, let them grow and swim through circumstances and create funny moments in rather tough situations, is something that is going to appeal every reader.

The gate was packed with weary travelers, most of them standing and huddled along the walls because the meager allotment of plastic chairs had long since been taken. Every plane that came and went held at least eighty passengers, yet the gate had seats for only a few dozen.

I will try to avoid spoilers as far as possible while talking further about this book, but, pleaes read ahead with a consent.

The airports, especially the busy ones, are always found to have not enough resources. And, the sea of passengers makes it look even more problematic. John has voiced the feelings of commuters and those came to see them off, quite convincingly.

The gate was packed with weary travelers, most of them standing and huddled along the walls because the meager allotment of plastic chairs had long since been taken. Every plane that came and went held at least eighty passengers, yet the gate had seats for only a few dozen.

The way the staff at the travel agencies trained is remarkable. Of course, it is the need of their business to sell the maximum possible package(s) to the customer and still make them feel happy, and more importantly satisfied. The customer should feel that he/she got one of the best deals, despite thinking that it is going to leave a hole/dent in his/her pocket. The agents are usually having attractive persona and friendly attitude. The author has brought in the book, an interesting conversation when the protagonist is exploring the tour-package as per his need. Here is a segment from the same:

“December is the best time of year for a cruise,” she began, and Luther was already sold. The brochures came in a torrent. She unfolded them across her desk, under his dreamy eyes.

“You work in the building?” she asked, easing near the issue of money.

When we need some task to be approved by someone, be it an employee wanting to get the task confirmed, a kid wanting a permission from the parents, a student seeking a favor from the teacher, or any other similar scenario; we present the things in a way that we get the results we want. The author explores a similar situation without using too many words, quite effectively.

While she heated up the pasta, he sneaked a reggae CD into the stereo, but didn’t push Play. Timing was crucial.

By nature, we are species who love to talk the things around. Converting anything to runor and push them to spread faster is what we do, consciously. So, if a thing is known to more than one persons, it is going to be known by many, for sure.

Luther paused for a second and once more marveled at the speed with which one person’s private business could be so thoroughly kicked around the neighborhood.

While one segment of the world is buried deeply in the celebration, there are people who know very less to nothing about Christmas. The author voiced them as well:

I know it will be difficult not having me there for Christmas, but please don’t be sad. My children know nothing of Christmas. They have so little, and want so little, it makes me feel guilty for the mindless materialism of our culture, There are no calendars here, and no clocks, so I doubt if I’ll even know when it comes and goes.

There are many sides of a party. While some of them enjoyed it quite well, forgetting the present; others may get some moments they can “bank” on later :).

All in all, it was a mess. But the partners loved it because it was a good drunk away from their wives, who’d been properly entertained at the firm’s fancy Christmas dinner and had never been invited to the office party. The secretaries loved it because they saw and heard things they could tuck away and use as blackmail for the rest of the year.

Luther and Nora came to know about their daughter found her love during her assignment. And their reactions are similar to any household couple having a young daughter could have. Also, the way the conversation takes its course on telephone, is elaborated interestingly.

More listening, then “Who? Enrique?” Then at full volume, Luther said, “Your fiancé! But what fiancé?!”

Nora somehow managed to think, and she pushed the Speaker button on the phone. Blair’s words poured forward and echoed around the living room; “He’s a Peruvian doctor I met right after I got here, and he’s just so wonderful. We fell in love at first sight and within a week decided to get married. He’s never been to the States and he’s so excited. I’ve told him all about Christmas there-the tree, the decorations, Frosty up on the roof, the Christmas party, everything. Is it snowing, Daddy? Enrique has never seen a white Christmas.”

Here is a situation from the book, that can be found in any home.

Luther sat on the edge of the sofa with his face stuck in his palms and appeared to be crying. Nora stood with the phone clutched in her hand and her hands on her hips, staring at the man on the sofa and debating whether or not to hurl it at him.

The way people pretending and showing off during such times, is something you will love to explore.

“Merry Christmas to you. Hey, look, thanks for the invite and all, but we just can’t squeeze you guys in. Lots of invitations, you know.”

Oh yes, the Underwoods were on everyone’s A list. Folks clamored for Mitch’s insufferable tirades on property taxes and city zoning. “Gee, I’m real sorry, Mitch,” Luther said. “Maybe next year.”

A tragic situation for someone may be a humorous site for the other. The small satirical lines will add to the “interesting” factors of the book.

If by some tragedy he fell, he’d free-fall for a very brief flight, then land among the metal patio furniture sitting on hard brick. Death would not be instant, no sir. He’d suffer, and if he didn’t die he’d have a broken neck or maybe brain damage.

How utterly ridiculous. A Fifty-four-year-old man playing games like this.

—- —- —- —- —-

“Luther, what are you doing up there?” Nora yelled as she rushed through the crowd

“What does it look like?” he yelled back, and his head pounded harder.

“Are you okay?”


Here is a conversation full of sarcasm and bunter.

“But they just met.”

“Love at first sight.”

“That’s impossible.

“Maybe you’re right. It took me three years to see your potential.”

Easy language, funny situations, and satirical dialogs makes it an interesting read.


An enjoyable light read.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 stars out of 10.

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Over To You:

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