11 Holly Jolly Books To Get You In The Christmas Spirit
It’s officially that time of year again.
The Netflix Christmas movies are landing; the tree is up and decorated; the halls are being decked — whether it’s with tinsel or holly, whatever your style is; and All I Want For Christmas Is You is basically on a never-ending loop thanks to Spotify.
Oh, and there are plenty of festive reads hitting the shelves — heart-warming stories jam-packed with love, family, twinkling lights, and enough hope and cheer to power all of Whoville.
So, if you’re looking for something to add to your to-read list this season, here are 11 of the best new festive books that will get you in the Christmas spirit.
A festive story filled with redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness and, most of all, family — and a definite must read this Christmas season.
Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price — she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. After Gayle has an accident at work, she realises that she needs to fix things with her family and decides to invite herself to join Ella and Samantha on their Christmas in the Scottish Highlands.
The sisters aren’t too happy that their mum has invited herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other, and they don’t need Gayle back in their lives — or so they think. But as they all get together for their first family Christmas in years, the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart.
2. Christmas Island by Natalie Normann
A charming story of love and hope, it’s the perfect kind of cosy Christmas read to curl up with in front of the fire.
After all the years of hard work that it took Holly Greene to become a doctor, it could all now be taken away — and she’s only got herself to blame. She decides to take some time out and retreats to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway. But it’s the middle of winter, and the icy slush and endless darkness isn’t exactly what she imagined.
Holly nearly stumbles off the edge of a cliff in the dark, but she is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor’s got his own problems to face — but he’s also got the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep, which is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine. Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.
The Holiday meets Love Actually, check out this heartfelt holiday story which is like Christmas-in-a-book.
When Jess Green moves to her new home on Christmas Street, she soon finds that it will be a December to remember. While she had been hoping to curl up and avoid the festive season, especially after the disaster of last year, her new neighbours have other ideas.
Together, they decide to create something incredible: a real life advent calendar. Each house opens its doors for a fantastically festive active, including wreath-making, gingerbread icing or carol singing, and Jess finds herself swept up in the holiday cheer. Every house is taking part except for house number 24, the home to the grumpy Mr. Winters. But when disaster strikes, can Jess pull off a festive miracle – and make her own Christmas wish come true?
Someday at Christmas is a swoon-worthy Christmas romantic comedy that will have you hooked from the very first chapter.
Shell Smith is the most popular makeup artist at the ART counter at Duke & Sons, a gorgeous-but-old-fashioned department store in her hometown. However, while her love life is looking up — especially now that she’s dating her long-time crush, Nick — and business is booming in the beauty department, the rest of the store is just…quiet.
Callum, the owner’s grandson, has come up with imaginative ideas to keep the store afloat over the holidays — including allowing a production company to secretly film a romcom after hours. But when Callum recruits her to help out, Shell finds there is more to Mr Duke Jr. than sharp suits and a business-like demeanour. She’s got a store to save, and her own romance with Nick is going off-script — and Christmas just got a little more complicated for Shell. But this is the most wonderful time of the year, so there must be a happy ending awaiting…right?
Looking for a wintry wonderland to escape to this holiday season? Then this book is perfect — it has all the ingredients of a cosy Christmas read, with some adorable dogs as an added bonus.
The small town of Pine Hollow has everything Ally Gilmore could want in a holiday break: gently falling snow, and time with her family. But then she finds out that some Grinch has pulled the funding for her family’s rescue shelter, leaving her with just a month to find new homes for a dozen dogs. When she confronts her Scroogey councilman nemesis, Ally finds out that he’s a bit more reasonable — and handsome — than she thought.
Since he’s the guardian of his dog-obsessed ten-year-old niece, Ben West doesn’t have time to build a cuddly reputation. But he does feel guilty about the shelter closing, so he proposes a truce with Ally: he’ll help her adopt out each of the dogs. And as the two of them spend more time together. the town’s gossip is spreading faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. And soon Ben is hoping he can convince Ally that Pine Hollow is her home for the holidays…and the whole year through.
6. The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker
If The Holiday is your go-to festive film, then this is the book that you need to add to your to-read list this Christmas.
The holidays are coming and best friends Chloe, Jules and Lucy are all in need of a change. And what better way to get that than to swap homes for the festive season? Talk about the perfect present for all of them.
Chloe swaps Australia for a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England — and she’s completely starstruck when she realises who is across the road. Meanwhile Lucy, who has flown off to a snowy Colorado, is getting her dream of a white Christmas. She’s been taken into the fold of Jules’ loud, brash family and is learning more about herself in a few days than she has in a long, long time. And Jules swaps the snowy hills of Colorado for the beach in Melbourne, finding time away is just what she needed.
7. Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas
Finding Love at the Christmas Market is a seasonal book perfect for fans of Paige Toon or Sophia Money-Coutts.
Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. She’s been hurt in the past and, with her son to consider, she’s just…feeling hesitant. Then, one of Connie’s residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market…with the promise that she’ll take a minibus full of pensioners along with her.
Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date — and she’s got a checklist of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich’s rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer. Will Connie’s wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so – with who?
A Groundhog Day-esque read jam-packed with festive cheer — and that will make you believe in the power of wishes, as well as the magic of the holiday season.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for most people. Just not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, her job is going nowhere (and she hates it) and she’s just made a romantic error of epic proportions. Worst of all, those, this is the last Christmas she’ll be at her favourite spot in the world: the snowy cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was a kid.
Mentally melting down as she drives away for the last time, Mae throws out a seemingly simple plea to the universe: Please, show me what will make me happy. The next thing she knows, everything goes dark — and when she wakes again, she’s back on an airplane, starting the same holiday over and over. Disaster after disaster sends her back to the plane, and Mae must figure out how to break free of the time loop and find her true love under the mistletoe.
9. The Country Village Christmas Show by Cathy Lake
Fans of Heidi Swain and Sarah Morgan will adore this cosy, feel-good festive read.
Clare is at a crossroads. She’s recently divorced, the family home is sold and her son is all grown-up. She’s dedicated her whole adult life to her family, but now it’s time to do something for herself. In the lead up to the holidays, she decides that a bit of time in the countryside may be what she needs.
She decides to move back to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in. But living with her mum for the first time in years (not to mention Goliath the Great Dane) can be…challenging. After Clare finds herself running the Christmas show, it starts to feel like she has a purpose in her life again. Bringing together people from all sides of the community, and all walks of life, will Clare manage to pull off a festive feat like no other? And will she find the new start in life that she’s been looking for?
10. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
’Tis the season for a holiday romance — and this hilarious and heart warming book fits the bill.
Since returning to her hometown, Kate Turner has been really busy — so much so that love hasn’t really had a chance to have a look in. Blexford is the kind of place where everyone knows each other and, between catching up with her friends Laura and Matt, a flourishing career as a fabric designer and taking care of her father, she just…hasn’t had time for love.
But then her friend, Laura, insists that she sign up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas. It’s a brand new dating app service that promises twelve festive dates with some of the most eligible men in the area — who could say no to that? Between the twinkling festive lights and over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, it’s easy to find. Or is should be. Because between the dates, Kate learns more about the men — and even more about herself — and, as the big day approaches, she’s left wondering if it really is the season for true love.
A charming, heartfelt will-they-or-won’t-they story that is perfect for fans of Karen Swan and Lulu Taylor.
The winter snow is falling on the small Irish village of Ballybray, and Roisin O’Connor and her young son, Ben, are saying their goodbyes to their beloved neighbour, Mabel. Mabel lived a bold, colourful life — but the arrival of her nephew, the ‘blow-in’ Aidan Murphy, just makes things a whole lot more complicated for Roisin.
But in a final act of love, a message arrives from none other than Mabel, and it changes everything. As the winter snow melts away and the spring starts to arrive, Roisin and Aidan’s long-hidden secrets must be revealed at last.
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