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Holiday Books to Get You in the Festive Spirit

Updated: Jan 10

‘Tis the season for bookish delights! As the weather turns cooler (or downright frigid, depending on your location!), there's no better time to snuggle up by the fireplace with a heartwarming holiday romance.

I confess, I'm one of those who indulge in festive reads all year round, but the magic truly peaks from October through February. There is just something magical about holiday books that keeps my spirits high when mother nature is sending grey skies my way.

Cup of Hot Cocoa with pine cones and book
Holiday Books

Join me in unwrapping the enchanting storylines of five holiday novels that have earned a spot on my cozy reading list, and discover even more tales sprinkled with the warmth of high ratings. Let the festive literary journey commence!

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews: This is a Christmas novella (shorter than typical books - reads very fast) that I enjoyed this year. Although it's short, it has a bit of romance, mystery, and generational stories all folded in.

Ivy has recently divorced her husband after discovering he was cheating on her. In an effort to reimagine herself, she buys a farmhouse a few cities over without even going there in person to inspect it.

The house had been dubbed "The Four Roses" because the family of four that had lived there for decades was the Rose family. The parents had established quite a reputation for themselves (and the house) around holiday traditions, including acting as the towns Santa and Ms. Claus.

When Ivy went into the house for the first time, she realized that it having been uninhabited for several years meant that it needed more repairs and work than she initially expected. Plus the last owner left a ton of things in the house - furniture and personal belongings - making even more work just to clear it out before she could make it her own.

Her realtor, Ezra, has been a huge help in fixing the place up and there is a slow burn romance that is just starting to ignite between the two.

All's Fair in Love and Christmas by Sara Monzon: Super cute holiday slow burn romance novel. I love that it has lots of holiday celebratory activities showing different cultures traditions. While this book is a light read in general, it does touch on some heavier topics such as social anxiety, death, and having a loved one with Alzheimer's. The way it's written, though, those difficult topics flow with the storyline and help bond us with the characters. There is a huge focus on friendships, family, and faith that keep it all very positive.

It's the end of the year, and Mackenzie and Jeremy just found out they'll be competing for a big promotion. Both have strong reasons to want the raise that would come with the new role, but with Mackenzie's social anxiety, she's not sure if she's cut out for it.

Instead of second guessing herself, she builds a new confident persona to help get her through the tough social moments. She's going neck and neck with Jeremy all month long as they each try to score "points" with their boss as it seems the winner is often tied to the person that has the most holiday spirit.

In the midst of being rivals, Mackenzie's hushed secret crush for Jeremy is taking a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. Jeremy is also seeing a different side of Mackenzie that he's never noticed.

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison: I really enjoyed this seasonal book. Stella purchased a Christmas tree farm that is tied to good memories of her mom, but unusual (and destructive) things keep occurring that are sabotaging the business potential. She's been sacrificing her own money to stay afloat and isn't sure what to do to keep it going past this season.

Stella learns that an influencer, Evelyn St. James, is running a contest and winning (or getting mentioned by this famous person) would boost business tremendously. Knowing that Evelyn is all about romance in her destinations, she completes the application saying that her boyfriend is involved in the tree farm.

Now she has the awkward conversation with her best friend of almost 10 years and asks him to "pretend" to be her boyfriend for long enough that Evelyn will choose her tree farm in the contest. At the end of that week, Stella promises Luka that they can go back to normal. In the meantime, they have to convince their little town as well.

Perfect book for those looking for:

*Holiday spirit

*Fake Dating

*Close Proximity

*Boy falls first

You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh: This is a holiday novella (shorter than a traditional novel) that is ideal for someone looking for a feel good book that puts a lot of emphasis on Christian beliefs, family, and friendships.

Starr is back at home in Washington DC pretending to be on a long work break, when the truth is that she's recently been let go from her job. As the youngest daughter in a family of five siblings, she was both anxious and nervous to share the news during the holidays, so she's kept it to herself.

Making the situation even more awkward, her sister is getting married during the holiday season to Starr's ex boyfriend.

Fortunately, her older brother's best friend is hanging around the house a lot and seems to know that Starr needs a gentle escape occasionally.

Falling Stars by Fern Michaels is a nice, light holiday read with some clean (fade to black) romance and a fun celebrity crush plot.

When you grow up in Colorado like Emily has, its not uncommon to know a thing or two about skiing. And when your family owns one of the biggest resorts, you become really good at it. Emily is known as one of the best ski instructors around and she loves being on the slopes.

A film crew is in town for the next several weeks and the star of the movie, Zach, is used to doing his own stunts. This movie has him skiing "The Plunge" and he doesn't want a stunt double to do it for him, so he hires Emily to ensure he can handle this dangerous and advanced slope.

Emily has been a fan of Zach's for years, but she can't tell him. She's going to act normal. And definitely not let her crush get out of control. Surely she can do that, right?!?!

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand is a holiday novel that I just finished reading for my December book club. Our group loves this author and this was a unique holiday book in that it wasn't your typical Hallmark movie everything-is-perfect winter romance.

Kelley (male) and Mitzi have been married for several years and run the Winter Street Inn. Kelley has three adult children from a previous marriage, and they have one son together that has recently left to serve his country.

Holiday stress is high as the Inn has a vacancy for the first time ever, relationships are on the fritz, careers are on the brink of ruin, and unrest is felt with a soldier at war. This novel portrays a bit more reality of family chaos during the holidays with still showing some tenderness.

Collage of covers from 9 holiday books
Holiday Books

2023 Releases to try:

Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

The Christmas Fix by Lucy Score

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

Which of these books have you read already? Let me know what books I should add to my list to read for next year!

Need more winter or holiday books to read? Try these recommendations!


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Frank San
Frank San
Nov 23, 2023

Interesting book recommendations and these are new to me. Nothing beats a good book to give you holiday vibes, I will check them.

Sheila Hirschauer
Sheila Hirschauer
Nov 23, 2023
Replying to

I hope that you enjoy them!


Nov 22, 2023

Thanks for this list! Always looking for book recommendations! -Grace

Sheila Hirschauer
Sheila Hirschauer
Nov 23, 2023
Replying to

You are welcome! Hope you enjoy :)

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