With the beginning of December near (we’re only 6 days away), it’s like you can smell the Christmas in the air. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, everything is a bit darker and our memories of summer, of beaches and sunlight are long gone. And so it’s that time of the year. Or coming close to it anyway for normal people, unlike me who has already started celebrating Christmas by listening to Christmas songs and reading Christmas books. I thought I’d do a Christmas book post for books people can enjoy in the winter-y season, hopefully cuddled up in a blanket, drinking hot chocolate or eggnog by the fireplace. Unfortunately, where I live, which is Dubai, there’s no culture of fireplaces and things like it because it’s always scorching hot here throughout the year and the winters are only a tiny bit cooler.
Despite not being Christian and not technically celebrating Christmas, there’s just something about the season that I love and always have. Wearing red and green clothes, listening to Christmas songs, reading Christmas and winter-y swoony romances or thrillers (there’s no in-between) and even putting up the Christmas tree. Maybe this year, I’ll bake Christmas cookies too. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it turned out and post pictures of how hideous I’m sure they’ll look.
I don’t think anything can mark the beginning of the chilly season better than a book similarly themed that’s sure to suck you in and keep you there. I know that for us readers, every time of the year is our favorite time to read, mine is too, but I think I like the winters to read just a little bit more. And if you’re struggling to find that perfect book that will hook you for this season and mark your very own beginning for winter and Christmas, I’ve scrunched up my very own list of winter reads for you to read this Christmas, from the swoon-iest of romances to the most chilling winter thrillers, this list has it all.
This one is a holiday-themed romcom about a pair of twins who only wish to have different lives for Christmas…and so they do. They switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas. One twin heads off to attend a cooking show to judge as the other one lost her sense of taste and smell while the other goes back home to run the family business she was struggling with. As kids, it was a simple act to switch, but now that they’re older it’s a lot harder, especially when two men are thrown into the mix in both lives and both women catch themselves catching feelings.
Always in December is the story of Josie, who lost her parents on Christmas years ago, and so every year, she posts a letter to them with the same words, “Missing you always“. Only, this year her annual trip is derailed by a collision with a stranger, who changes her life forever. They end up spending the holidays together, and Josie thinks they might have something special, only for the stranger to leave abruptly. Over the course of the next year, fate continues to bring Max and Josie together, all over the world. Sometimes things are not as simple or easy as they seem and this book is their story of life, love and fate.
Victoria is an aspiring fashion designer who dreams of opening her own boutique one day. However, a new department store is opening nearby that threatens her dreams. Oliver’s opening a new department store that’s behind on schedule and his meddling mother wants to meet his non-existent girlfriend soon. Oliver offers a proposition to Victoria that if she pretends to be his girlfriend at the store’s opening, he’ll give her an opportunity to show off her designs. The fake arrangement soon starts to feel very real and when the past gets in the way, the only question to ask is whether Oliver will walk away from this or stay and get something beautiful with Victoria?
This is the perfect Christmas book. Maelyn Jones isn’t having a wonderful time at the most wonderful time of the year. This is also the last year she’ll be at her favorite place in the world- a snowy cabin she’s spent winters in every year with her family and two others. As she drives away for the last time, she throws out a wish to anything in the universe that’ll listen: “Please show me what will make me happy.” Suddenly there’s tires screeching, metal colliding and then darkness. She wakes up on a plane bound for Utah, starting the holiday all over again. Disaster after disaster sends her back on the plane and she needs to figure out how to get out of the time loop and get her love under the mistletoe. A hilarious but cute holiday rom-com.
This one isn’t really winter-themed, but the main characters are figure skaters, practically live on the ice and ice skating reminds me of cold and winter so I’m adding this book here anyway! Synopsis: If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including Ivan Lukov.
Stella’s just standing outside a famous department store staring at the Christmas decor when a charming man walks up to her and asks her about her opinion of it. Unaware he’s the owner of the store, she’s honest about what a tragedy it is and he asks her what her ideas for it would be. Next thing she knows, she’s working for Aiden, trying to ignore how he makes her feel. But then again, this is just a job, right? I don’t know how Tessa manages to do it but somehow every one of her books is better than the last and this book is perfect for the Christmas vibes.
Craig Macklin was a teenager when his headteacher told him he was heading either to prison or the grave. Instead, Craig left the north of England, saying goodbye to his friends and family to start a new life. Thirteen years on, redundant and separated from his wife, he returns to his hometown for the first time. It’s Christmas: markets in full swing, lights twinkling, shoppers shopping, revellers revelling. Manchester has seen a revolution. The buildings soar higher, the shopping centres sprawl wider. New industries have replaced old and yet, away from the glitter, the tinsel, the hot spiced cider and the enormous inflatable Santa, some things will never change. Despite the seasonal sense of jollity, there are secrets from which Craig cannot escape and, when debt-collectors call on his parents’ house, Craig realizes the teenage hell-raiser he left behind might not be so buried after all.
Ten people. Twelve days. One killer. Ten people meet for a reunion at a remote castle, organised by a preacher who once held them in a Christian cult. One by one, the old friends are brutally murdered, and yet their killer remains hidden in their very midst. Rafe attends the reunion at the castle for one reason only: to settle once and for all how he really feels about his childhood obsession, Suzanne. Rivalry reignites at the outset as the men who all loved and fought over Suzanne are brought together once more. Is Suzanne the reason for these serial killings? Is the murderer a jealous unrequited lover? Or is she the femme fatale with a bloody agenda?
I’m unable to embed the Apple playlist into this post for some reason so here’s the link anyway if you’re an Apple Music user like me: here.
Let me know if you’re going to read any of these books, or tell me about your go-to Christmas books, movies and songs! I’d love to hear about any Christmas plans you guys have too!