DEAR SANTA by Debbie Macomber

From the publisher:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A special holiday wish list brings about hope, love, and second chances in this nostalgic novel from the queen of Christmas stories, Debbie Macomber.

Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up—but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits.

Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic—especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate—Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays.

In Dear Santa, Debbie Macomber celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, old and new.


I have run hot and cold with Macomber’s annual Christmas novel/novella, and I’m happy to say I enjoyed this one. As a Jewish woman who loves Christmas romances, I prefer them to be more inspirational and uplifting than religious, and Macomber always walks a fine line there but there weren’t enough Christ references to make this uncomfortable for me, so yay.

Lindy is finally in her dream job, or so she thinks. A web designer, she was hired by a major Seattle company over an in-house candidate, leaving her co-workers skeptical and unwelcoming, and Lindy feels the need to work late nights and weekends to prove herself. She has just submitted a major proposal; if the company wins the business, her reputation will be intact. Meanwhile, they’ve given her two weeks off over Christmas.

Lindy heads home, never needing home more. When her best friend moved to be closer to her job, Lindy showed up at her new apartment, planning on surprising her friend. Instead, she is shocked to find her boyfriend is living there. Her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend now, and she is more devastated about her friend than anything. She hasn’t told anyone what happened and is carrying around her heartache on her own.

But as soon as she gets home, her mom knows something is wrong and Lindy spills it all. Her mom comes up with the idea that doing a little reminiscing will help Lindy heal. She pulls out a box of letters to Santa that Lindy had written as a child. She doesn’t remember most of them, but she does remember the one where she asked Santa to bring Billy coal for Christmas. He’s been torturing her forever in the way that little boys do when they have a crush on a little girl, but she didn’t get that then. Then her mom suggests she write another letter to Santa. Lindy thinks that’s ridiculous, but she realizes that Santa always granted her wishes in one way or another, so she does it. She asks to meet a good man and to find a new best friend.

Turns out her best friend from elementary school is back in town and they rekindle that long ago friendship. At a girls night out at a new hot spot in town, Lindy is surprised to see that the proprietor is none other than her old nemesis, Billy, now called Will. But when Lindy finds out what happened that Christmas she wished him coal, guilt kicks in and she ends up bringing him homemade cookies to apologize. They start hanging out and realize there is a strong attraction there. But Billy is tied to this small town with his new business, and Lindy is going back to Seattle. Long distance won’t work, not with the hours they both work. So Lindy decides this will just be a holiday romance, but of course, that doesn’t quite work out.

It wouldn’t be a Debbie Macomber novel without a happily ever after, and Billy and Lindy find theirs. The magical Santa throughout the novel adds another dimension of holiday joy, making this a perfect Christmas read. If sweet romances built around the holiday are your jam, then don’t miss this one. Or wait for the Hallmark movie – it seems like most of Macomber’s Christmas novels end up there.

11/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

DEAR SANTA by Debbie Macomber. Ballantine Books (October 19, 2021). ISBN: 978-1984818812. 272 pages.

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