Don’t skip through Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Christmas with the Kranks.

It’s not a traditional heart-tugging favorite like White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life. But certainly more sentimental than Bad Santa or Scrooged.

When it comes to movies, I gravitate toward comedies — likely because in the newsroom we see too much seriousness and grief.

This 2004 movie is based on suspense novelist John Grisham’s light-hearted book Skipping Christmas, in which Luther and Nora Krank face their first holiday as empty nesters.

With no daughter at home to share in the holiday celebrations, the Kranks (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to skip Christmas altogether.

They use the considerable sum normally spent on trees, charities, Christmas cards and a holiday party to buy tickets for a cruise. But ignoring Christmas isn’t that easy.

Shocked friends, disappointed shopkeepers and disapproving neighbors leave the Kranks loaded with guilt. But when their daughter surprises them with last-minute plans to return home Christmas Eve, everyone comes to their aid to make it special.

Too often we let the Christmas season become a frantic race to the Dec. 25 finish line.

We’re rushing, spending and feeling so guilty that we can’t get to everything, make everything or keep everyone happy that we lose a lot of the joy of the season.

We think if we start even earlier next year, we’ll get it all done. Make it perfect.

We’re so focused on the decorations, gifts, cards and baking that we forget to focus on the people.

Christmas with the Kranks reminds me that no matter the holiday hassles and the breathless pursuit of the perfect Christmas, it’s not the hickory honey ham or the Frosty the Snowman on the roof that truly matters.

Slow down, take a moment just to be with friends and loved ones this holiday season.