Christmas with the Kranks & Holiday Introspection

Have you ever felt like you made an unforgivable mistake? Have you ever felt as if everyone was angry with you? Have you laid awake at night with the crushing feeling that the world would come crashing down if you messed up? Have you ever ripped up and burned the fabric of your community by doing something selfish like cancelling your annual Christmas blowout bash? Have you ever forgotten to ask Rex, the butcher at the grocery store, where the white chocolate was? Have you ever thought about serving smoked trout instead of hickory honey ham to your daughter who works with the Peace Corps? On a HOLIDAY for God’s sake?! If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are probably either Nora or Luther Krank from the 2004 holiday comedy “Christmas with the Kranks” and your monstrous behavior needs to be addressed immediately. 

This film starts with two parents sending their daughter off to another country. Nora, the mother, is upset. Luther, the father, seems a bit preoccupied and annoyed by the stress surrounding the holidays. Luther isn’t stressed about just any holiday; he is stressed about Christmas. He suggests to Nora that they skip Christmas and go on a vacation instead of celebrating. 

In order to truly learn from this story, we must dive intoNora and Luther’s haunting yuletide crimes. Their first shocking act in this tragedy is not sending Christmas cards, or as I like to call it, an atrocity to God. Nora and Luther, who previously seemed like generous people, decided to leave their community in the dust, left with nothing but a longing for a photo of Nora and Lutherblurred out by the Shutterfly logo. At this point, you can already feel general morale and holiday spirit washing down the drain. 

Next, to make their future vacation better, Luther decides to get BOTOX. Looking back, I don’t know how Ididn’t turn off the movie right then. At this point, the movie had already championed everything I stand against: ignoring Kris Kringle’s birthday and getting Botox. I don’t stand against getting Botox or other injections because of implications surrounding beauty standards, I just know that the word “neurotoxin” scares me. Scary words remind me of Halloween which is also known (to me) as the Devil’s field day. Anyways, the couple decides to go tanning in a mall. Their pastor sees them there and confronts them. The pastor is a beacon of light in this pit of hell, and he serves as the voice of the audience who wants to beg Nora and Luther to regain their humanity and change their ways. Also, I think he teaches the audience a valuable lesson that we can all use in our everyday life: do not go to the mall to tan unless you want your pastor to condemn you with his eyes while you advance all the weird moles you’ve been meaning to get checked out. 

Next, you guessed it folks, Nora and Luther make the front page of the newspaper in a Chicago neighborhood for tanning in December! This is their scarlet letter, the burden that they bare for such a reckless decision to skip Christmas. The community wants to humiliate the barbaric couple as they have humiliated their neighbors. What are their neighbors supposed to do? Buy wrapping paper? Spend time with their family? Have their own Christmasparties? Talk about Orwellian. I’m disgusted even thinking about what the Kranks put these people throug

By the end of the movie, Nora and Luther somewhat change their ways. Their daughter ends up coming home for Christmas and they decide not to skip the holiday after all. They attempt to undo the damage they’ve done and the community that they treated so pitifully steps in to save the day. Also yes, there is a character that may or may not be Santa who also kind of helps. 

Everyone should take this movie as a warning as to how your actions can affect those around you. I really don’t like to swear, especially around a Christian holiday, but the Kranks’ attitudes really sucked. You may be thinking, “I would never do something like this! I don’t need to see this movie!” I would like to share a poignant quote with you: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Although the film is heart wrenching, it is an important watch for anyone and a good exercise in character building. I watch it every Christmas to humble myself. We all have two wolves inside of us, and we have to accept that one of them is capable of doing something as unhinged as hiding from Christmas carolers. 

When the holidays come around each year, I often see photos of Santa Claus holding a list. I can never tell what the writing is on the photo because it is usually blurry. I believe this writing is either A: a rap sheet of all of our sins or B: the naughty and nice list. I’m pretty sure that it’s A, but if it is B and if we were given the chance to look at the writing, I’m sure we would not be surprised to discover that Nora and Luther have yet to make it off the naughty list.

Parker Hanson is a writer from Alabama. Follow them on Twitter at parkerlhanson.

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