It’s almost Christmas and the Hallmark movies (and our personal favorite, Candace Cameron Bure) have been on our TV screen every chance we can get! Yes, they’re predictable. Yes, they’re sometimes very cheesy. But yes, I still love them anyway because in the world we live in today, I’d much rather watch cheesy than be inundated with bad. Agree?
Christmas is about heartwarming. It’s about kindness and love and peace and joy. It’s about finding hope in sometimes seemingly hopeless situations.
So when I choose my books leading up to Christmas, you better believe it’s going to be books that focus on that message. No drama or thrillers. No sadness or intense scenes. Give me hopeful story lines, small towns, love stories, and all the heart.
I’ll save the drama for January.
This month, I read three Christmas books for our book review. Last years books are still very hot this Christmas season so if you’re needing a few more, check out my November 2020 Book Review where I read Mr. Dickens and His Carol, In a Holidaze, and Christmas Shopaholic. In December 2020, I read The 12 Dates of Christmas and One Day in December.
This month, I read three holiday books to share with you. First up…
How have I not known about the Peachtree Bluff series?! This is Book 4 of the series and I’m very excited to read the others after the holidays! It takes place in Peachtree Bluff, a Southern seaside town that does the holidays really, really well. The events sound so fun and so different from the typical, and make me want to move there just for the month of December. Can I book a trip to this town?!
The story follows each of the family members as they maneuver the big milestones happening in their lives: divorce, new relationships, first loves, babies, and a catastrophic hurricane coming straight for their darling town.
I loved everything about this book and it made my heart swell as each character found their ending, but even more, I feel like I wanted to take a page from each of the character’s books. Through each up and down, they handled it with such grace and patience. I actually feel like this book made me look at myself a little bit and realize how I handle stress compared to them. Funny how a very “Hallmark” Christmas book can actually make you learn a little about yourself, but this one did just that for me.
And don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the other books in this series. Kristy Woodson Harvey did a great job of explaining things so you never felt out of the loop or like you missed something. I’ve never read the first 3 and not once did I feel confused during this read.
A total Parent Trap Christmas story. Twins, Cass and Charlie, switch places after Charlie gets a concussion while working on her reality TV cooking show and loses her sense of smell and taste. Her sister, who runs the family’s bakery in their small town, agrees after dealing with a massive break-up that her ex doesn’t want to believe is actually happening.
The sisters pine for the parts of her sister’s life that they feel like are missing in their own, but soon realize that there are maybe just some more important things in life.
I really, really, REALLY liked this book! I picked this book up every chance I could get to see how it ended. Cass and Charlie were both great characters, the minor characters were relatable and endearing, and truth be told, I had tears in my eyes at the end of this one. I could read this one again next year and be just fine. Such a cute one!!
I’m not going to lie, I had a tough time getting into this one. Ivy, recently divorced, buys an “old, white farmhouse” sight unseen in a small town far from her city life in Atlanta. She wants a change in her life and fixing up an old farmhouse is exactly what kind of change she wants. This sounds like a dream for me. Moving to a small town, spending your days fixing an old house?! Yes, please!!
But my issue came when she arrived and the previous owners didn’t take out ANYTHING from the house. They left clothes, furniture, clutter, the works. How angry would you be? Furious, right? And the previous owner’s son-in-law came over to pick up a left behind photo album, and Ivy never mentioned a word about it. I had a hard time getting over that one.
Once I got past the filth that she was living in and the story line picked up, I did start to enjoy it more. I loved the comraderies of the small town, I loved the lessons she was learning about herself, and I loved the completely new adventure she was on while tracking down a note found in an old Santa suit in the closet.
Really heartwarming story and a really good reminder of the decency of humanity this holiday season. That’s what we’re looking for nowadays and this story is the perfect reminder.
I’m going to finish up the year with a little more holiday and post my final book review of the year AND my favorite books of the year before Christmas. Plenty of time to snag this quick, sweet reads to get you in the spirit!