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My True Love Gave To Me and Festive Recs


It’s December! And I’m really feeling the need to snuggle down with a warm blanket, a few wintery candles, and some cosy festive stories.

Because yes, I am the sort of person who watches A Muppets’ Christmas Carol every year, plays All I Want For Christmas Is You on repeat, and will happily marathon all the festive episodes of Friends to get in the mood.

But I don’t really know that many festive books. I’d love to read sweet, fluffy stories, or bittersweet snowy stories, or… just anything Christmassy.

So, please share your festive recs! What should we all be reading this year?

For my contribution, I offer My True Love Gave To Me, a holiday anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins and including short stories from authors like Gayle Forman, David Levithan, Ally Carter, and Laini Taylor.

Pretty much all the stories are winners, but my favorites include Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (a really sweet New Year’s Eve themed story), Angels in the Snow by Matthew de la Pena (about two college students stuck in NYC in a snowstorm at Christmas), and It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (hard to summarize, about a girl who’s expecting a non-existent Christmas until she wanders into the Christmas tree lot across the street from her apartment).

For less specifically-festive YA, I’d also recommend Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Both are incredibly adorable contemporary romances set over the length of a school year, the first at an American highschool in Paris, and the second during a girl’s first year of college in Nebraska. They have Christmas elements, but also just a general sweetness to them that I think is really festive.

What would you recommend people read this holiday?


Rhiannon Thomas is the author of A WICKED THING and KINGDOM OF ASHES. She lives in York, England.

3 thoughts on “My True Love Gave To Me and Festive Recs

  1. Dear Rhiannon – you are so right! “It’s a Wonderful Life” is an excellent film, but in our house Christmas means “The Muppet Christmas Carol” every time.
    As for books, I think the ideal one for your requirements is “Sundered Hearts”, one of the golfing romance short stories by PG Wodehouse, part of a collection called “The Clicking of Cuthbert”. Very sweet, very fluffy, very funny, culminates in a reunion on Christmas Eve in the snow, and available free on the internet.
    Also – almost all the Christmas episodes in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books are lovely; “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde is sweet and tear-jerking; “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith is not specifically Christmassy, but meets all your other requirements. For something that’s SF/fantasy and Christmas-themed and -set (but not hugely feelgood), how about Connie Willis’ “Doomsday Book” – a history student goes back in time to 1348 and we movingly experience a Christmas in sickness-infested Oxfordshire in two time periods?
    For the ultimate Christmas read, there is St Luke chapter 2 verses 1-20; St Matthew chapter 2 verses 1-12; and St John chapter 1 verses 1-14.

  2. It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown is one of my favourite stories in that anthology too, and I can’t remember what it’s called now but the one about a first semester at college (I read it last year and I have a shocking memory!).

    Anyway, my recommendation would be Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It’s about two teenagers brought together by a bookshop, and sweet (without being sickly!), funny and festive.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot – Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. A book of three loosely connected Christmas stories.

    1. Absolutely seconding “Dash & Lily”, it’s so lovely. And now you’ve made me want to reread all my faves in “My True Love Gave To Me”.
      Also, I’m assuming you’ve read it but just in case you haven’t yet, Rainbow’s “Landline” is also set over the Holidays, so it also makes a good Christmas (and any other time) read :)

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