Skipping Christmas starts out at the gate in an airport. Luther and Nora Krank are there with their daughter Blair, waiting for a flight to Miami that will eventually bring her to eastern Peru, where she is going with the Peace Corps. They all say their goodbyes and the parents leave. Nora is very upset, while Luther isn’t so much. On the way home they stop at a store for white chocolate and pistachios. Luther unwillingly goes in to get it and finds every little thing a hindrance. He is easily annoyed, and doesn’t get the white chocolate. Nora then has to go in the store to get it, and she does so with much annoyance. While Nora is in the store, Luther daydreams about not having to do the Christmas season.
That night, Nora was restless. She was pacing and going from room to room. She finally lay back in bed, rolling and flinching and moving, trying to get the attention of Luther so she could talk about Blair’s safety again. Luther didn’t move, and when Nora was finally asleep, he snuck out of the room to the basement office to evaluate last Christmas’s spending. He found that $6,100 was spent on Christmas. With this new information, he took a trip down to the travel agency during work the next day. He made his choice the 10 day Island Princess cruise. That night, during dinner he attacked Nora with the idea. Using brochures and spreadsheets, he showed her the facts. She finally accepted to skip Christmas, as long as she could still donate $600 to charitable donations.
Later, Nora received a call from the Card Store owner, and had to tell him she was not ordering cards, but did not tell him why. Luther, the same day, was writing a letter to his colleagues, telling them that he would not be participating in the normal Christmas rituals. The next day, the boy scouts came by, selling their Christmas trees. Luther had to tell them they were skipping Christmas, and a few minutes later they found a crowd congregated at their driveway, staring up at the house. That night, Luther went for a walk. He noticed his neighbors doing what the Kranks were avoiding, and he felt good about it.
It was lunchtime, and Nora was at lunch with two of her friends. The card man called her again, and she was forced to tell her friends about skipping Christmas, which meant everyone will know by dinner. During work, Luther was praised by a co-worker, Yank Slader. Vic Frohmeyer, the “unelected ward boss of Hemlock” sent a letter out to tell everyone to put their identical snowmen on the roof. Vic inquired about it when all the snowmen were up other than the Kranks.
At the shelter for battered women, Nora again was attacked for skipping Christmas and her Christmas Eve party. She received a letter from Blair, saying she was doing well. On Monday night, Luther took Nora to the mall for dinner and a movie. During the movie, Luther took a walk, and noticed all the craved people shopping....