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Here are 6 Christmas books for your book club to read this holiday season!
Update – my 2022 Christmas book club list has been released!
The holidays make for such a fun theme for book clubs. In addition to meeting about the book you all chose, you can have a White Elephant gift exchange, have tasty cookies and/or fun cocktails. It’s a perfect way to end the year.
And while there are more books focused on Halloween, there’s not much for Thanksgiving at all. But when it comes to the holiday season, there are a ton of books! You have the old classics but also quite a few new ones. In fact, there are so many releasing this year, I wrote up a post dedicated to it.
I quite enjoy reading holiday books and so I wanted to put together a list of books I’ve read over the past couple of years that I think are all a great fit for your December book club meeting.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
Oh gosh, I just love One Day in December by Josie Silver so much. It’s the book that has it all—heartfelt, compelling and emotional. What’s funny about recommending this one is it’s not just centered around the holidays. While it starts off in the holiday season, it actually takes place over 10 years. But I believe the holiday start—and the holiday ending—makes this a great fit for your December book club. It follows two strangers (Laurie and Jack) who experience the ‘love at first sight’ concept. However, when they reunite, it turns out Jack is dating Laurie’s best friend. I really want to emphasize how surprisingly emotional this one turned out to be. Because of this novel, I will always read whatever novel Josie Silver writes (and she has a new one coming out in 2022)! Here’s the synopsis:
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
I so enjoyed In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren! It’s a really fun book and concept. I don’t always love romcoms in fiction but they did such a great job with this one. It’s a twist on the Groundhog Day’s concept where Maelyn Jones ends up beginning the same holiday over and over again. The story is funny in many parts and the romance is good. Overall, a more lighthearted pick to end the year with. Here’s the synopsis:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.
But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.
The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
To be honest, I thought The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan was going to be more on the corny side. But it’s not! It’s actually quite the heartfelt story about family, belonging and, of course, sisterhood. The setting is fantastic—the snowy Highlands of Scotland. All the romances are great. If you want the book to really get you in the holiday spirit, this should be at the top of the list. Here’s the synopsis:
In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…
Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…
As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
The Royal Holiday by Jasmine Gullory is another fantastic setting and just overall lovely premise. It follows Vivian (a character inspired by Meghan Markle’s mom, Doria) who goes to London with her daughter who is styling a royal family member. Unexpectedly, Vivian connects with a private secretary, which turns into a full on fling. Here’s the synopsis:
Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.
Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.
Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day…or are they?
You can order the book on Amazon here.
Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
Before Kristin Hannah became known as one of the best historical fiction, she wrote quite a bit of contemporary stories. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she wrote a holiday-themed story! Comfort & Joy is about overcoming grief and loss, a second chance at romance and working toward healing. Here’s the synopsis:
Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.
In the small town of Rain Valley, six-year-old Bobby O’Shea is facing his first Christmas without a mother. Unable to handle the loss, Bobby has closed himself off from the world, talking only to his invisible best friend. His father Daniel is beside himself, desperate to help his son cope. Yet when the little boy meets Joy, these two unlikely souls form a deep and powerful bond. In helping Bobby and Daniel heal, Joy finds herself again.
But not everything is as it seems in quiet Rain Valley, and in an instant, Joy’s world is ripped apart, and her heart is broken. On a magical Christmas Eve, a night of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, Joy must find the courage to believe in a love—and a family—that can’t possibly exist, and go in search of what she wants . . . and the new life only she can find.
You can order the book on Amazon here.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
While This Time Next Year starts after Christmas—New Year’s Eve—I still think it’s a fun one to read during the holiday season. It’s similar to One Day in December in a couple ways—it takes place over a longer time period and it’s also quite an emotional read as well. It follows Minnie and Quinn. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same time and 30 years later, the two meet at a birthday party. This explores missed connection and fate. It has more depth than I expected as well. Here’s the synopsis:
Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990–and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.
When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all–while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?
A moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect–no matter what the odds.
Have a wonderful holiday season!