Until recently Christmas books had always felt like a thing I couldn’t quite connect to. You see, I’m originally from the Southern Hemisphere. Melbourne, Australia to be exact. And Christmas for us was a strange mix of things that didn’t really belong together.
By the 25th of December the weather is warm. Some years it’s balmy and mild—perfect for barbeques and chilled wine. Other years it borders on ‘holy crap, did I suddenly teleport myself to the mouth of hell?’ But that’s Australia, for you.
The funny thing is, we persist with a lot of the cold weather traditions, despite the heat. Every year my family would roast a full turkey or chicken and hope the air conditioner would be able to keep up us cool despite the oven working at full force. We’ll burn candles scented with cinnamon and clove, wear (faux) fur-lined Christmas hats and give out presents wrapped in patterns of snow-capped pine trees and glittering snowflakes.
Until two years ago I’d never seen a snowflake in the flesh (in the ice?)
That all changed when my husband and I moved to Canada and had our first cold weather Christmas. Suddenly I understood the fuss. There’s nothing like watching the snow fall while you’re inside, wrapped up in blankets and drinking something warm in your favourite mug. It’s not at all surprising that I’ve written two Christmas books since moving here and falling head over heels for winter.
Sure, it gets crazy cold. Sure, we had to spend a stupid amount of money buying coats that are puffier than the duvet on my bed. Sure, I have fallen on my butt more times than I can count while I learned to walk on an icy footpath. But with my third Canadian winter in front of me I find myself excited for all the things that make the festive season different here. My appreciation for all these Christmas books with their rosy-cheeked cover models and delicate snowflake embellishments has certainly grown.
So here are my top reasons why I now love snowy winter stories:
- Snow storms make the perfect opportunity to lock two characters away together. Anyone else a sucker for snowed-in stories? I love that trope.
- The covers are so darn pretty!
- Fictional snow doesn’t have the downsides of real snow like the brown sludgy aftermath of late February where all the abandoned Tim Hortons cups resurface. Also, no runny noses in romance novels. Win.
- Reading a white Christmas book makes you feel cosy without having to experience actual cold weather.
- For those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, buying a white Christmas romance novel is WAY cheaper than a plane ticket. Just sayin’.
- Christmas romance novels are totally proof that Christmas magic is real. Okay, maybe not proof exactly…but I like to believe in it.
This year I’m getting prepared in advance. I’ve got a nice little collection of Christmas stories waiting on my Kindle, which I’ll soon be devouring. I have the perfect fluffy blanket (which was a gift from my husband last Christmas) all ready for lazy weekends filled with reading and watching movies. We’ve even got a tin of hot chocolate mix in the cupboard that’s been calling my name. Next on the list is a giant bag of marshmallows.
At this point, I could practically be part of the Stark family.
Winter, I am ready for you.
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart.
Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise she was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
These days she lives with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, French perfume, high heels and zombie movies.