The Christmas season tends to stress me out. Each Thanksgiving, that anxious knot in my stomach returns as a litany of to-do's floods my brain—buy gifts for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the mailman; buy, address and mail holiday cards; pick up Christmas tree; go through attic and find ornaments and Christmas dishes; bake for the office cookie swap; pick up secret Santa gifts for book club gals; order holiday ham; shop for the perfect holiday dress; buy tickets to The Nutcracker; wash sheets in the guest room; choir practice; prep for Angel Tree; check on flights for Grandma; take a Valium …

All right, I'm joking on that last one, but let's face it: The holidays can be stressful. And the magic we enjoyed as children can simply disappear for us busy adults. Sometimes I've considered the option of just skipping the Christmas season entirely.

And now here's a movie about doing exactly that. Christmas with the Kranks, based on John Grisham's book Skipping Christmas, was right up my alley—but for different reasons than I anticipated. Tim Allen (Home Improvement) plays Luther Krank, a guy who decides to forego Christmas for a sunny cruise to the islands. His reason? His daughter Blair (newcomer Julie Gonzalo) has gone to Peru with the Peace Corps, and won't be home for holidays. Facing an empty nest with wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis), Luther convinces her it would be much easier, and cheaper, to simply skip the whole thing. No Christmas cards, tree or decorations, no parties to plan, no gifts to buy. She agrees, provided she can still donate to her usual charity. The rest of the festivities are off limits. What could be simpler?

But skipping Christmas is not as easy as it sounds, particularly in their ...

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Directed By
Joe Roth
Run Time
1 hour 39 minutes
Cast
Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd
Theatre Release
November 24, 2004
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