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Christmas with the Kranks, starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, has been out for a while now. I saw it the year it was released on DVD and once on TV after that, but had not viewed it in a while. When I saw the DVD on the shelf at the library, I felt compelled to give it a viewing this December with the boys.
Now, this is not a film that I see watching year after year like some films. But, it was enjoyable on an afternoon when a few of use were under the weather and stuck under blankets.
The storyline is that Mr. and Mrs. Kranks have decided to forgo Christmas this year. Their only child is off in the Peace Corp and they are feeling a bit sad about not having her around for the holidays. After seeing a poster for a Caribbean cruise, Luther Kranks does a quick ‘audit’ of the past Christmas to discover they spent over $6000 on Christmas. He presents this to his wife, Nora, along with the idea of the 10 day luxury cruise that costs a mere $3,000. She agrees to the plan after adding back their normal charitable giving as being allowed.
Well, giving up all the trappings of Christmas proves harder than they anticipated. Neighbors start talking after they refuse to buy a tree from the local Cub Scout pack. Then things start getting ugly when they won’t put up their large Frosty on the roof, a neighborhood decorating tradition. They are even caught in swimsuits at the local mall’s tanning salon with a photo shown in the local paper on the front page.
As all good stories need some added tension and the craziness of their avoiding Christmas events and preparing for their big trip on Christmas Day wasn’t enough, the Kranks get some serious tension when their beloved daughter calls on Christmas Eve with the surprise of her coming home for Christmas with her beloved. Here is where the story starts to really show more of the true meaning of Christmas as the neighbors and people not normally in their social circle pull together to help them have Christmas ready for their daughter.
There’s plenty of spots for laughing in this movie. Overall, it’s family friendly although the tanning salon scene has both stars in ‘small’ swimwear. And, I love the satirical handling of all the trappings that you can find during the holiday season with the message of relationships being more important than the ‘stuff.’
This film is based on a book, Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham. Even though I’ve enjoyed the film, I’ve yet to read the book. Maybe that will change some day…
This post has been submitted for inclusion in The Christian Home Issue 93 hosted here.
As the featured columnist for the Movies and Music category, you can be looking forward to weekly posts on what we are watching or music we’ve enjoyed. Feel free to leave suggestions for me as well that are family friendly or uplifting for adults. While I have movies and some music selections in mind, I’m always on the lookout for other great choices.