Dear Christmas is the best Christmas Romance book for you!
What would you do if you received a Christmas card from someone you’ve never met?
When Cordelia Hobday receives a surprise Christmas card from a stranger—the funny, kind, and interesting Lee Weston—she decides to write him back.
But there are rules to this Christmas letter exchange:
They’ll never meet.
They’ll never call.
They’ll never email.
They’ll save a year’s worth of wishes and secrets, hopes and dreams, and share them every Christmas in one Dear Christmas letter.
They’ll be friends for life.
And the most important rule of all? They will never, ever, ever fall in love.
Ten years of Christmases. Ten years of letters. One Christmas wish…
This is a Soulmates in Romeo Christmas Novel.
Read the Best Christmas Romance Book Dear Christmas Excerpt
TEN YEARS AGO
1621 Tenderfoot Lane
Merry Christmas. The lady here told me that if I wrote you a Christmas card it’d make you feel better. She said you just had heart surgery and if I wrote you then you wouldn’t feel so terrible about being shut up in your house, not able to come to the Christmas Market. Well, I don’t know anything about heart surgery. I guess I’d just be glad to be alive and not complain so much about missing a
bunch of people crowded together buying fake wreaths and ugly ornaments carved from cheap wood, but that’s just me.
But the lady said you were sad and I was the only one who could cheer you up. In an effort to be completely honest, I’m only writing because she promised ten dollars if I did.
She said you are one of a kind. The sort of person who I could write to and tell anything, the sort of person who I could count on to stick around in bad times and good. She said if I wrote you, you’d be my friend for your whole life.
Not to be rude, but I’m not sure you have too long to live considering you’re friends with a lady who looks about 900 years old and you just had heart surgery yourself.
But I’m willing to take a chance on this letter because I need the money. I’m making my way up to Prince Edward Island. I’ve got a job there this winter working construction, but I don’t have enough money to make it up there just yet. I could hitch hike, but I sort of got turned off that last summer when some nut almost slit my throat one night for the bag of Fritos in my cargo pants’ pocket.
I guess you don’t want to hear about that. Anyway, I’m not especially into Christmas. Sometimes, I remember Christmas with my family. My brother and my parents. But I think, probably those are just false memories. I bet someday, I’ll see a made for TV Christmas movie playing at a bus stop, and there’ll be my memory mom and dad, and my memory big brother right there on the TV screen
acting out my one Christmas memory.
The only thing I ever had to prove it was real was this little ornament, but I sold it today. I remember my brother saying it was a Christmas magic ornament, but if that were true, if I had a brother, then wouldn’t I be with him? Wouldn’t I be with that family I sort of, almost remember?
You might be getting worried for me. Don’t. I’m alright. I’m fourteen now and taller than most anybody and I have these brown-black eyes and black hair that make me look meaner and older than I am, so nobody much bothers me. Plus, I have an ID that says I’m eighteen, and everyone believes it. Besides, when you travel around as much as I do you meet a lot of people, and most of them are decent. I guess I get by on the small kindnesses of strangers.
Maybe that’s why I’m writing you. Small kindnesses. Although, I’m still taking the ten dollars.
But please take care of yourself. And get better. Take it easy, don’t get out of bed too soon, and watch as many cheesy Christmas movies as you like. You could also try Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup—that’s what I get from the store when I’m not feeling well. You can drink it from the can if you’re too tired to heat it up. I do that sometimes. It still tastes fine.
It’d be nice if you didn’t die because I’ve never written a Christmas letter to anyone before and it’d be sad if the first person I wrote to died before she could write back.
Also, since you’re sad that you can’t be at the Christmas Market I’ll describe it to you so that later you can close your eyes and pretend you’re here.
The table I’m sitting at is near the cider and hot cocoa stand. It’s a little red hut with Christmas lights and the smell of cinnamon and apple and melted chocolate is so strong that my eyes nearly water from it. The man there, he has this big beard that takes up half his face, gave me a huge Styrofoam cup of cider with a cinnamon stick and orange slices and cranberries floating in it. The cup was so hot that it burned my fingers. I wanted to drink it fast because I’ve been sitting out here for hours, and I haven’t eaten since last night, and I’m so cold I can’t remember what warm feels like, but I’ve just been drinking it for the past hour, taking these tiny sips because it tastes like, well, have you ever been outside this town?
Maybe you’ve been up north, where the cedar and pine stretch for miles and there isn’t anyone out there, just you and snow and silence. But then, when you’re sitting on the side of the road, snow mounds so high, the sun melting the snow so it falls off the pine branches and slides to the ground, and your breath comes out in front of you crystallizing in a fog, and then a deer steps out of the cedars and stares at you before bounding off. That deer makes you remember you aren’t alone. It makes you glad to be alive in a world where you aren’t alone. That’s what this cider tastes like.
So there’s music playing at the Christmas Market too. It’s cranked over the speakers, kind of crackly like it’s playing on a tape deck from four decades ago. It’s the classics. Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole (I rode with a trucker once who loved those guys). And I guess if they played them anywhere, this is where they’d fit.
Romeo, your town, is all covered in snow and ice so that the buildings look like frosted gingerbread houses. There are candy cane ribbons wrapped around the street lights and Christmas lights strung on all the buildings. There are Christmas trees stacked in the tree lot—blue spruce, Fraser fir, white pine—they smell like evergreen, the good, fresh kind, not the air freshener kind, and about fifteen different families have hauled a tree away since I’ve been here.
The entire street is lined with painted wooden huts and tables. There’s a make your own wreath booth, a make your own snow globe hut, a gingerbread decorating table, tables with ornaments, Christmas cards, photos with Santa and the elves. There are even reindeer. Three of them. I have to admit, I pet one. I was walking past and he leaned over and stole my mitten from my jacket pocket. I pulled it out of his mouth then put my hand on his nose. It was wet and soft, soft like the velvet on one of those velvet posters you can buy in travel rest stops. When I spread my fingers on his nose, he let out a breath, it fogged up the air and smelled sweet like dried clover. I pet him until he tried to nibble my jacket, then I went and set up my table.
I’m selling those cheap wood ornaments I told you about. I learned to carve from this army vet in
Poughkeepsie. I spent all last month making them. My fingers are all nicked up and sore, but I have fifty trees, stars, and Christmas hearts, and by tonight I’ll have enough money to make it up north.
I figure, since you can’t be here, I’ll send an ornament with this letter. It’s a Christmas heart. I’m only sending it because if your heart is broken, or still mending, then maybe this one can be a substitute until yours gets better.
The lady says you’ll write back, but if you don’t that’s alright. I’m not looking for a friend, I’m just looking for ten dollars. And since I got that, I guess we’re even.
But I’ll wait around and not catch the bus until morning. Just because, I guess, I want to know that you’ll be alright. I feel, sort of like I know you already, even if you haven’t written back yet. I guess, when the lady said you’ve been through a lot in your life and you’d understand anything I had to say, I guess, it made me hopeful.
I hope you have a happy Christmas.
First Published: November 21, 2023
Publisher: Swift & Lewis Publishing LLC
ISBN: eBook 978-1-954007-72-7
Large Print: 978-1-954007-74-1