top of page

Christmas Books to Reach Your End of Year Reading Goal


feel-good christmas books

Are you looking for the perfect corny Christmas story in Book form?

I got you!


We are now in December and the reading goal you set back in January is looming over your head, taunting you. With only a few weeks left in the year, it seems almost impossible to reach the goal; it's better to just give up now and try again next year, right?


Not necessarily.


I've compiled a list a quick little Christmas stories to help you reach that end of year reading goal, just in time for the New Year! What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by cracking open some Christmas themed books. We (by we I mean ME) always watch the same movies around the holidays so why not add books with similar themes to the rotation.


Tons of holiday books exist, but these are just a few that I've read and can personally vouch for. Let's get it!


1. The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk

Christmas books to help your reading goal

synopsis of The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk

How do you fall in love with someone who can’t remember you from one day until the next?


Newly single lawyer Gwen Baker needs a family Christmas to bury her woes, with festive films, country walks and a mountain of chocolate.


Her teenage crush Dev is back in their small village as well – and it turns out he’s just as kind, funny and good-looking as she remembers.


But then Gwen wakes up to discover it’s Christmas all over again. She’s trapped in a snowy Groundhog Day. But would repeat meet-cutes with Dev really be so bad for a heart that needs mending?



My thoughts on The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk

This book was hilarious. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading it. I was open mouth laughing throughout the entirety of this book. Full on guffaw. An intense cackle that swelled up from the depths of my stomach and startled those within earshot. I am willing to bet that those around me got a full view of all of my teeth. If you want the Christmas RomCom with more Com and less Rom, this is the story for you. It wasn't spicy in the sense that you would need to go take a cold shower to calm down, but the romance between these two good friends was heartfelt and warm.


I am usually quite apprehensive about reading romantic comedies because there is usually an uncomfortable amount of *whispers* smut involved that really makes me want to barf. I am not a smut fan. I love spicy foods, but I don't love spicy books. I was prepared to skip past scenes of "growling" and "eyes raking down their bodies" and "moaning" and whatever other representation of sex that these authors can think of, but I didn't have to with this one. Let us all breathe a sigh of relief together.



Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh

2. Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh


Synopsis for Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh

She’s meant to be catching flights, not catching feelings....


Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.


Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: They’re friends, and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.


Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season, and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.

The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.

What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own....



my thoughts on holiday romance by Catherine Walsh

I loved this book. Plain and simple. I loved it. It was a pleasant surprise. I expected the usual corny Christmas romance, but instead I got a well thought out story that had just the right amount of Christmas cheer and sarcasm to keep me feverishly turning the pages. I was literally standing in the middle of the floor in my bathroom reading, desperate to figure out how it was going to play out, instead of getting in the shower to get ready for work like I was supposed to. (I'm sorry for whatever mental image that conjures up.)


Molly and Andrew had a relationship that was the perfect mix of sarcasm and true friendship that I love. Their conversations made me laugh more than once. I will take banter over mushy smushy behavior anyway. My husband's ability to banter is one of the things I enjoyed most about him, if that gives you any indication of how high it ranks on my list of desirable qualities. (It also helped that he was really fun to look at, but that is beside the point.) Molly and Andrew had a leg up on most couples because it wasn't the meet cute followed by flirting and then immediately falling head over heels. Their dynamic was the definition of a slow burn (ten years in the making!) that turned into an all out forest fire by the end of the book.


3. Let it Snow - Michelle Stimpson


Let it snow by Michelle Stimpson

synopsis of let it snow by michelle stimpson

No one wants to spend Christmas Eve snowed-in at the airport—but will it spark an unexpected romance?


It’s Christmas Eve, and school teacher Nia West can’t wait to get to Jamaica for the sun and adventure she’s dreamed of all year long. So what if she’s traveling solo this year? A relaxing holiday alone on the beach sounds like a sweet escape from the usual family drama.

Family drama is something Andrew Beckman knows all too well. Ever since his ex-girlfriend started dating his brother, Andrew has buried himself in work at his veterinary practice. Now he’s on his way to an awkward family Christmas party with the happy couple, and all he wants is to put the season behind him as fast as possible.


When an unexpected blizzard grounds all flights, Nia and Andrew’s holiday plans are put on ice, and they’re stuck spending Christmas Eve at the airport. Soon the pair of travelers decide to make the best of it and team up to spread holiday cheer to the other stranded passengers. After all, just because their flight is cancelled doesn’t mean Christmas is. Now they’re about to discover that with the right person, home for the holidays can be anywhere—and life’s crossroads are the perfect place to begin a new story.



my thoughts on let it snow by michelle stimpson

Now, this one is strictly an audible original audiobook. So if you want to do a free trial of audible and check this one out before the year ends, then I'd say go for it. It's about 6 and a half hours so if you want to turn it on while you run errands for the day, I think it would be a great choice.


The story itself was cute. It felt like a hallmark Christmas movie in audibook form. I do have a few gripes though. Jurnee Smollet was the narrator for the female part, and while the FMC (female main character) voice was fine, whenever there was a kid or an older person in the scene, it felt like Jurnee overcompensated way too much. Sounded almost comical when it shouldn't have been.


I do think the Dutchess addition to the story was a bit unneeded. Made it drag on longer than necessary. It was such a random addition to the plot that really didn't fit in with much else. It was cute though, so I can't be too mad about it. Overall it was a cute Christmas story about being trapped in an airport.


4. Love in Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello


love in winter wonderland by abiola bello

synopsis of love in winter wonderland by Abiola Bello

The Sun Is Also a Star meets You’ve Got Mail in this YA Christmas love story set in a London Black-owned bookshop.


Charming, handsome Trey Anderson balances the pressures of school popularity with a job at his family’s beloved local bookshop, Wonderland.


Quirky, creative Ariel Spencer needs tuition for the prestigious art program of her dreams, and an opening at Wonderland is the answer. When Trey and Ariel learn that Wonderland is on the brink of being shut down by a neighborhood gentrifier, they team up to stop the doors from closing before the Christmas Eve deadline—and embark on a hate-to-love journey that will change them forever.


Heartwarming and romantic, this read is the gift that keeps on giving, no matter the season.


thoughts on love in winter wonderland by abiola bello

I think I am liking YA romance novels when I want a taste of romance without all the smut. A dash of heartfelt without having to skip through all of the cringy genital references. If spice is a requirement in order for you to read a book, then you should probably skip over this one.


I thought it was cute how each chapter started off with a Christmas song. Unfortunately, this and the fact that it took place in December were really the only things that made the story seem Christmassy. The rest focused on the bookshop. I still absolutely loved the story, don't get me wrong, I just wished that there was a little bit more Jingle Bells.


5. The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo


The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

synopsis of The Holiday Switch Tif Marcelo

Two rival coworkers with two very big secrets.... What could possibly go wrong? Cozy up with this charming holiday romance by USA Today best-selling author Tif Marcelo. 


Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she's earning extra cash working at the local inn - AKA the setting of the greatest film of all time, Holiday by the Lake - while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger.


But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss's frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. Lila is type A; Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way", and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merch. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they've both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets - and an unexpected snowstorm - bring these rivals together?



thoughts on Tif Marcelo The Holiday Switch

A cute, angsty love story about teen "rivals" that end up falling for each other. Wasn't as Christmassy as I'd have hoped, but it was still a lot of fun to read. The female main character was a secret book blogger that had a thriving audience. She would give them reviews on books she'd read and talk about other relatable things. Sort of like what happens here on The Booky Babe website. For that reason, I felt like I was truly able to relate to her character, even though she was a little (okay a lot) younger than me.


No smut, because it's a teen book and if you feel led to read books about teenages doing grown up things then I am definitely not the book blogger or author for you because YUCK. But the romance between the two characters was adorable and very "end of the world" type of emotions that teenagers are so well known for experiencing. Cute story with a little dash of Christmas to make you feel festive.



All I Want for Christmas, Michelle Stimpson

6. All I Want for Christmas by Michelle Stimpson

Michelle Stimpson All I want for christmas synopsis

When a doctor and nurse with very different views on Christmas are thrown together on a decorating committee and bond over a special patient, they each learn the most important Christmas lesson: All they want for Christmas is each other.


Dr. Allison Hall is staring down the prospect of her first Christmas in a new town and her first without her son, who is spending the holiday with her ex. As the new doc on the block, she's on duty for the Christmas shift and glad of it. When one of her favorite patients lands back in the hospital, and it looks like this might be his last Christmas, she hopes she can help connect him to his estranged daughter.


Dante Price thinks Allison should mind her own business. He's a nurse - and admittedly a bit of a Christmas Scrooge. But when he gets put on a decorating committee with Christmas-loving Dr. Allison, he starts to see the holiday in a new light.


Soon the two are working together to deck the halls with boughs of holly - but can they pull off a Christmas miracle and reunite a father and daughter?



Thoughts on All I Want for Christmas

Now out of all of the books I have read and/or listened to for the holiday season, this one felt the most like a quick Christmas movie. The story was quick and straight to the point. It was full of the magic of Christmas in such a sweet and cheesy way without being too cheesy to take seriously.


These are the kinds of books and movies that remind you of the importance of family, forgiveness, and second chances. A nice little holiday miracle to fill you full of the warm fuzzies as you wrap the 100th present this year.


7. The Kingdom of Sweets- Erika Johansen


The Kingdom of Sweets, Erika Johansen

Synopsis of The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika Johansen

This gloriously transportive reimagining of The Nutcracker tells the tale of twin sisters, divided by envy and magic, set against each another one fateful Christmas Eve.


Light and dark—this is the cursed birthright placed upon Clara and Natasha by their godfather, Drosselmeyer, whose power and greed hold an entire city in his sway. Charming Clara, the favorite, grows into a life of beauty and ease, while Natasha is relegated to her sister’s shadow, ignored and unloved.


But Natasha seizes the opportunity for revenge one Christmas Eve, when Drosselmeyer arrives at the family gala with the Nutcracker, an enchanted gift that offers entry into an alternate world: the Kingdom of Sweets.


 Following Clara into the glittering land of snow and sugar, Natasha discovers a source of power far greater than Drosselmeyer: the Sugar Plum Fairy, who offers her own wondrous gifts . . . and chilling bargains. But as Natasha uncovers the truth about a dark destiny crafted long before her birth, she must reckon with forces both earthly and magical, human and diabolical, and decide to which world she truly belongs.



I will have to come back and add a more extensive section on my thoughts about this book once I finish. I am still in the process of reading it, but for the sake of switching things up a little I wanted to add this book into the mix. It is a reimagined version of the Nutcracker which I think is pretty dope. If you're sick of the usual romcom suggestion and you want something else with a little more pizazz then here you go!


I am realizing that I actually don't mind stories that have magic in them. They make me happy. That is something I discovered about myself in the year of our Lord 2023, because before now I was strictly thriller/suspense and nothing else. Didn't even want to crack open a romance novel for fear of stumbling upon a wayward cock reference, but alas, I am expanding my horizons! You should too!




 

I have read more Christmas books than this, but I can't unload the clip on you all at once! What fun would that be?


I may do a part two. Only if Santa says you've been good this year. 😉




Comments


bottom of page