Why is it such a big deal for the Kranks to go out of town for Christmas? How do they spend $6,000 on Christmas, and why the total boycott? Why not do some light decorating and present buying?
If Luther was that concerned about saving money, why did he get a Botox treatment?
It wasn't about saving money per se, but since they're not going to celebrate Christmas and aren't even going to be around for it, they're free to use that exorbitant Christmas fund on something other than Christmas. The tan and Botox fall, in his view, within cruise-related expenses.
There wasn't any Botox in the book, and considering how quickly the couple seemed to have darkened, they were probably pale enough that they should have pre-tanned anyway for health reasons even if Luther hadn't been vain about it.
Christmas has always been an important holiday in that neighborhood. It's part of what helps give them a sense of community. $6000 is probably spent buying gifts for everyone, making the street and their home as spectacular as possible, Special outfits. Christmas parties. Etc. It's an obscenely expensive time of year, but the Kranks were always willing to buy into it for the happiness of their daughter. Without her around this Christmas, there's no point. Sour grapes. The neighbors took it personally.
What the hell would've happened if the Kranks were Jewish? Or Muslim? If your religion doesn't celebrate Christmas, do you make it out alive from this Christmas Gestapo?
Correct me if I'm wrong (because I didn't see the film, and merely read it on TV Tropes), but at one stage aren't they asked if they're Jewish? So it seems that harassing your neighbors into conformity is acceptable, so long as it isn't anti-Semitic.
They were actually asking if they were Buddhist, but even so. It seems if you're a Christian (nominally or not) you have to celebrate with lights, Christmas trees, and tacky fiberglass snowmen.
In the book, the previous year a Pakistani(?) couple (assumed to be non-Christian) had lived in one of the street's houses for about three months (including Chrismas) and didn't have a snowman on their roof. When the book mentioned the neighborhood association's discussions as to whether or not they should buy another Frosty to decorate the empty house under cover of night, any mention of their house was conspicuously absent.
Alright, let's assume that the neighbors really do care about winning that stupid award so much. If that's the case, why don't the Kranks just offer to put up some decorations, go on their cruise and have a neighbor stop by to turn on the lights whenever the street gets judged? Admittedly it'd still have a really creepy message about conformity and doing what your neighbors want but at least everyone would be relatively happy.
They may have not wanted to have to go through the effort of putting stuff up. Just unraveling lights alone takes some work let alone everything else, and they're not even going to be there to enjoy it. Of course, if the neighbors are really that obsessed with it they probably could of told them to do it.
The neighbors actually do suggest that they do all the work. That's why Luther is supposed to be the big ass, because he won't even let them do all the work, but it still creepy that the entire neighborhood is willing to spend hours of their time decorating this BIG house.
Creepier still is that his will and opinion don't matter one whit to the neighbors. If he had caved in and allowed them to decorate for him, they would STILL be imposing their own selfish purposes on a family that had its own, personal reasons for "skipping" Christmas. Imagine that your neighbors suddenly decided that all cars should be red. You don't want to repaint it because you don't like the color red. Would you be happy if the neighbors did it for you, even if it didn't cost you a penny?
So, Blaire, in the few weeks that she's in Peru, suddenly falls in love with some guy and decides to marry him, who conveniently enough has never celebrated Christmas and wants to see what one is like. Judging by the completely stereotypically Spanish name he has (Enrique), it can probably be safe to assume that he's local, or at least comes from another Latin American country. Wouldn't that then make him Roman Catholic, or at least someone who has been living in a very Christian dominated society? If so, why the hell would he have never celebrated Christmas, or at least be aware of what one might look like?
If I recall correctly, it was that he'd never celebrated an American Christmas. Still a pretty flimsy cop out.
At least in the book, Grisham (the author) seemed to think of Blair as a Canon Sue, if a mild one, and (among other, slightly more subtle clues to his position) pointed out at the beginning of one chapter that she wondered if she was being inconvenient by flying home with no notice whatsoever before reaching the States but immediately brushed it off.
If Luther needed a tree so badly (and was being charged $75 for the dead one), why didn't he go to another lot or get an artifical one from a big box store? Sure, the artifical ones (at least the 7' ones) can run $75+ but it also lasts 10 or more years.