Monday 6 November 2023

Romance and the Magic of Christmas

by Enisa Haines

It's a season many days away yet but everywhere I turn it's looking a lot like Christmas. Streaming services such as Netflix and Hallmark bring an enticing array of Christmas romance movies while publishers spoil us with a plentiful choice of Christmas romance novels. 

What to choose? Our voracious romance reader Miranda will be talking about that in her next post, just in time for a Christmas book binge. What I'm wondering about is this abundance of Christmas romances. 

These stories have lured readers since the time of Victorian England (yes, Christmas romances were popular even then). What is it about them that calls to readers and movie-goers alike? 

Christmas is a time where happiness abounds. Families get together, as do friends and even strangers. Gifts are exchanged, delicious meals served, reminiscences shared. Moments to celebrate, where joy, generosity, a sense of belonging, and love - of family, of friends, neighbours, workmates - is all around.

And it's love that is the highlight of these beloved romances. Though many stories may not focus on the true spiritual meaning of the season, always these romances are set in the days or weeks leading up to Christmas or through the three days of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 

Magic exists at that time. Wishes are made and there's the promise that if you believe what you wish for it will come true. And what are romance novels but stories where readers get the happy-ever-after they crave in fiction. The heroine wishes the life she's experiencing at the beginning of her story will change by the end. The hero, a man beset with problems of his own, also wishes for something better. Circumstances  bring them together but it is love that heals past hurts and shows them that together they have the life they once thought would only ever be a dream.

Whether we immerse ourselves in Christmas stories for the setting and its spiritual meaning, or for the expectation that the hero and heroine will find their 'forever love', it seems to me that it's the happiness that fills us while we're immersed that we seek. And Christmas romances always give us joy.

As lovers of Christmas romances, is it the same for you?

Love to love: Several native plants fondly called Christmas Bush for their gorgeous displays of flowers from October to January are found throughout Australia. My favourite is the NSW native Ceratopetalum gumniferum and now I have one of my own for my balcony. 

Love to laugh: romantic comedies are both a joy to watch and oftentimes you can't help but laugh.

Love to learn: Christmas has so many traditions. Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the hanging of mistletoe, fruit puddings and cakes are ones that spring to mind. Each intrigue me as to their origin and so I have the urge to explore. 


  1. Ooh Enisa, you have hit all my 'love' buttons! I've been cruising through the new Christmas movies, thinking - 'Is it too early to indulge?' - to which the answer is NO, never too early! I love Christmas bush too, my parents had a lovely one in their backyard and used to gift me a bucket-full to adorn the house at Christmas. I miss that, but sometimes get some off a dear friend. I should get a pot like you! I think there's something special about Christmas indeed. Besides the wonderful religious significance, it's a time when families try to get on, and people think of others before themselves. It's also the end of the school/uni year and the release from pressure, plus many people look forward to a scheduled holiday from work over Christmas/New Year, so people are happier and more relaxed. They have a little more down time, so catching up on romantic movie watching or romance reading is high in their To Do List. Sure, there's extra work: trees to trim, houses to decorate, food to prepare, gifts to buy and wrap, but it's all done with love and happiness. And in those happy moments when you can sit down and catch your breath? Definitely a feel-good, HEA romance that makes you feel absolutely wonderful. Win win win in my book. Such a wonderful time of year.

  2. Hi Miranda. No, never too early to indulge in Christmas-themed movies and books, As a human race, we're always so busy living our lives. Often this brings on stress and worry, so knowing that Christmas brings love always fills people with happiness. And that is a beautiful gift from a season with spiritual meaning.

  3. Hi Enisa, I love reading Christmas romances.
    I think the enjoyment I experience as a reader of romance novels is heightened when the romance is set at Christmas time. The problems of the heroine and hero seem to capture my emotions more fully, and the joy I feel when their troubles are resolved as they find love seems greater for a Christmas romance.
    I wonder if this occurs because Christmas is such a special time of the year - a time where we want people including outselves to feel happy and fulfilled as they enjoy each other's company.
    If the romance is an inspirational one, I think the celebration of the birth of Jesus heightens the fulfillment of the reader and contributes greatly to the satisfaction I feel when I reach the end of the novel.

  4. Hi Sharon. Christmas is a time of love and peace and it's in human nature to crave that. It's a time when we can let go of stresses, if only for those few days, and just allow ourselves to feel joy. Christmas romances give us that. And that's the wonderful thing about them.

  5. Christmas bush is one of my favourite things about Christmas (together with all the excellent Aussie Christmas story collections). Seeing its red gorgeousness everywhere in the gardens makes me smile.


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