I am all about Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and I love decorating, shopping for gifts, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, and baking wintery treats. Reading Christmas themed books is just another way to immerse yourself in the festivity of the season, and I have prepared a list of a few Christmas books I enjoyed enough to recommend to you (including a couple kid picks at the end). Click on the images for more info about each book or to see buying options.
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A Patchwork Christmas Collection
By Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, Stephanie Grace Whitson
Barbour Books, 2016
All she ever wanted was a marriage and children, but Karla Stuke feels like old maid. When her childhood friend Frank Lehner returns home just before Christmas to accept an apprenticeship he is surprised – pleasantly- to find Karla still single. But she is sure that a handsome man like Frank could never be interested in a plain girl like her so she determines to guard her heart and keep him at arms length. Not to be deterred, Frank resolves to win her heart and Christmas is the perfect time of year to learn that what is inside a gift is more important than the wrapping.
Down to her last pennies, widow Jane McClure loads her 10 year old daughter Molly onto a train bound for Denver to spend Christmas with the man she has been corresponding with. If all goes well, Mr. Huggins will find her suitable and a match will be made to ensure their future. But a string of calamities befall the McClure’s, culminating with getting stranded in the home of Peter Gruber and his elderly mother Anna. Will Mr. Huggins be understanding about the delay? Bonds are formed as the Gruber’s share their humble but joyful Christmas with the McClure’s.
The one thing Ada Wallace wants for Christmas more than anything is a proposal from Samuel Alcott, the man she is sure God has chosen for her. But a chance encounter in a bad part of town leaves Samuel with a calling that he can’t ignore. Sure that Ada couldn’t possibly fit into the new, lowly life he is choosing, he breaks things off with her. A year later another Christmas is approaching, and though Samuel finds fulfillment in his work, his heart still aches for Ada. When an accident causes their paths to cross, Ada hopes he will see that she deserves a chance to decide for herself what kind of life she is suited for. But with pride and circumstances working against them, it will take a Christmas miracle to bring them together again.
This collection of Christmas romances shows that it’s never too late for a second chance at love. Sweet stories, and one extra feature that I thought was kind of neat is that recipes and patterns that are mentioned in the stories are included at the end of each novella.
By Karen Kingsbury
Howard Books, 2015
Two polar opposite college students bond over a bookstore called The Bridge and it’s kind owners, until a horrible lie sends them their separate way. Now, seven years later, their paths cross again when the owner of The Bridge, a man who touched many lives, suffers a devastating accident only weeks before Christmas. Both are surprised to find the other still single, but will the bond the once shared be enough to help them overcome the past and reach for each other again?
The version I read included also The Beginning, a prequel that shared how Donna and Charlie came to open The Bridge. I don’t think that it’s necessary to enjoy The Bridge, but the extra detail makes you more invested when you get to the main story. This book is a great choice if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to it. It could easily be read in one or two afternoons. Fun fact: this book was made into a two-part Hallmark TV movie, released in 2015 and 2016.
Love Finds You In: North Pole, Alaska
The tourist town of North Pole, Alaska is a place of perpetual Christmas, much to the vexation of injured ex-Marine Bryce Stone. Bryce returns to his home town to help run the family gift shop that his aunt Olive has been minding for him for years, ever since his parents died. But Olive is planning to enjoy some well-deserved retirement, and that leaves Bryce with a problem: how will he stay sane managing a Christmas gift shop? He determines to sell it, but with no offers on the horizon Olive suggests he let her hire a manager in the meantime. His only stipulation? Don’t hire a woman.
Samantha Sinclair adores Christmas, so when a bad breakup leaves her wanting a change of scenery, moving to North Pole to accept a job as a chef in a fancy hotel seems like a good choice. But she arrives to find the job she was promised has been given away in a fit of nepotism. Unwilling to return home to a chorus of I-told-you-sos, she determines to stick it out and takes the first job she can find: Manager of a cute little gift shop owned by a grumpy veteran with an eyepatch. A very handsome grumpy veteran.
Before long, lovable Sam is like part of the family, and she and Bryce share an attraction that both try to deny. Will they be able to look past their differences and help each other through the rough patches ahead?
A neat addition to the ‘Love Finds You’ series by Guideposts. A town where it is Christmas three hundred and sixty-five days a year? Sounds intriguing. A handsome Marine veteran who needs someone to warm his heart? Even better.
By Mary Connealy
Barbour Books, 2009
After the brutal betrayal of his fiancee, Elijah Walker isn’t inclined to trust a woman again, especially not one as secretive and stubborn as Annette Talbot. He is sure she is hiding something, but the disappearance of her father and the presence of a suspicious stranger makes him wonder whether she is a threat or if she is the one in danger.
When dead-broke Annie returns to her home fleeing danger and finds her father’s ranch abandoned and in shambles, she is forced to accept assistance from her nearest neighbors, Elijah and his mother. Mrs. Walker believes she is sincere in her faith and intentions, but it is clear that Elijah does not. Can she convince him without revealing information that would threaten her reputation and her life?
I can’t say enough good things about Mary Connelly. Her characters are kind-hearted but believably flawed, and her stories are vibrant with chemistry and wit. This novel, which takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas, is no exception and will defiantly get you in a holiday frame of mind.
(This one is probably my favorite on this list!)
The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy
By Jane Thayer
Spoken Arts, 1992
The tale of a puppy named Petey who hopes to get a boy for Christmas. He goes in search of one, but all the boys seem to be taken and not one of the other dogs he meets is willing to give up his boy. Petey is tired and discouraged, until he stumbles across a place that might have exactly what he is looking for in abundance.
This was one of my favorites as a child and I had nearly forgotten about it until I happened upon a copy at my local library recently. This cute story illustrates all kinds of different emotions and has a very happy ending.
The Little Christmas Elf
By Nikki Shannon Smith
Golden Books, 2011
A little elf named Nina is crafting a teddy bear on Christmas Eve. This is the first year she is big enough to work with the other elves, but it looks like her toy won’t be finished in time to make it into Santa’s bag. Nina misses the deadline but perseveres anyway, and is surprised and delighted when there is a need for her bear after all.
I loved the ending on this one, it’s so sweet! It wasn’t what I expected at all.
Hopefully one or two of these titles will fit your needs and enhance your Christmas experience this year. I know I enjoyed all of them, and all my ‘research’ for this post (i.e. reading Christmas books in November) was time well spent.