‘Tis the season of cheesy Christmas romance movies! You know the ones.
A strictly business New Yorker type gets an assignment to go shut down a small town, family-owned bakery to make way for a big box store and finds herself unexpectedly charmed by Chris K., the gorgeous local bank owner who never reveals what his last initial stands for. He eats breakfast at the bakery every morning and allows it to continue to operate in spite of the fact that the rent has been late for the past 15 years because he knows the family and they’re good people. There’s at least one puppy with a red bow and there’s always a shot of someone’s grandma clasping her hands while watching snow fall from the front window of her home. Good stuff.
Anyway, in honor of all films that mention “The Christmas Spirit” 42 times, we bring you a holly jolly list of romance novels set in the season of joy and peace; perfect for reading while curled up in front of a fully trimmed tree with a cup of hot cocoa.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
If you’re one of the few and proud who still believe in love at first sight, especially during the holidays, then this is the novel for you. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As the title suggests, this tale takes us to London on a snowy December day as main character Laurie is taking part in her daily public transportation routine. She spots a handsome stranger hanging out by a lamp post (because, London) during a stop, but just as their eyes meet, the bus pulls away. Convinced that he is the very man she is meant to be with, Laurie spends the next year searching for him among the hustle and bustle of the city’s cobblestone streets. As luck would have it, or rather, wouldn’t have it, she doesn’t find him. Until she does. At a Christmas party. That he’s attending with her best friend. Who also happens to be his girlfriend.
Cups of hot cocoa you’ll need to have on hand: The “Will they?” “Won’t they?” and “HOW?!” of it all is sure to have you in need of at least three.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
First published in 1905, this Christmas tale is a great read for those crisp winter evenings when you’re feeling sentimental and looking for a little nostalgia. Author O. Henry gives readers a beautiful moral lesson depicted through the lives of Jim and Della, a young, and rather poor, newlywed couple who face the challenge of buying Christmas gifts for one another with next to nothing in their bank accounts. With Christmas only one day away, they both go to extremes to provide the perfect gift for each other, resulting in Della selling her hair and Jim selling his only timepiece. When it is time to exchange gifts, they’re in for a surprise that leaves them both in awe of how far they were willing to go to express their love and just how precious…and valuable…that love truly is.
Cups of hot cocoa you’ll need to have on hand: It’s a short story, so one should do the trick…but add a handful of mini marshmallows for effect.
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
What do you get when three YA writers team up to provide a set of short stories that have an intertwining plot and are set in the atmosphere of all things Christmas? Let It Snow, that’s what. The collection features three tales about a trio of young couples, each desperately trying to navigate their relationship woes in the midst of treacherous wintery weather. From unreturned calls to missed opportunities to pick up the perfect Christmas present, a gaggle of circumstances cause one thing (or person) to lead to the next as readers are given a glimpse into the whirlwind snow storm that is teenage love…or lack thereof. What is a family holiday season without a little teen angst, after all?
Cups of hot cocoa you’ll need to have on hand: ♬ Fiiiiiiiive Cups of Cocooooooaaaa ♬ Okay, so it doesn’t have the same feel as the golden rings, but you’ll need five cups nonetheless. There promises to be sips a plenty given that you have three Christmas stories to get through.
Okay. So, you know how you sit on the sofa with your blanket and your fresh-from-the-oven Christmas cookies and you turn on a marathon of your favorite cheesy seasonal romance movies and before you know it three full days have gone by? …no? Just us? In any case, Riane Konc appeals to the holiday hopeless romantic in all of us with Build Your Own Christmas Movie Romance. With more than 1,000 possible storylines, readers can choose the plot of their romance right down to the mysterious bearded man who may or may not be Santa himself. In the mood for finding holly jolly love in a generic European kingdom? Go for it! Looking for a ridiculously handsome baking partner in a small town with an equally ridiculous name? Done. Best book ever, if you’re asking for our totally unbiased opinion.
Cups of hot cocoa you’ll need to have on hand: Honestly, just keep the cocoa on a constant pour with peppermint sticks close at hand. This book is bound to keep you busy all season long. …see what we did there?
We’re certain we’ve just touched the tip of the North Pole with these lovely Christmas romance picks. Do you have any novels to add? Or better yet, what’s your favorite Christmas romance film plot? Let us know in the comments. And hey, don’t worry if you haven’t gotten into the holiday romance spirit just yet. There’s still time to check out these books and make things right. Happy reading to all, and to all a good night!