Review by Veronica

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“You have no idea what being a tavern owner means!”

“And you have no idea what the life of a pastor is like.”

Hank laughed. “You couldn’t do my job for a week.”

Pete snickered. “You couldn’t do my job for a week.”

“Give me a break. You’re living the easy life.”

Pete set his fork down and leaned forward, his eyes intense. “You ready to find out?”

What do you mean?”

Fine, since you think I’ve got it so easy, let’s trade places. I’ll work at the bar and you fill in for me at the church.”

Hank didn’t hesitate. This was like taking candy from a baby. “You’re on.” He thrust his hand across the table. Pete extended his own hand and the two shook. 

It is so easy to get lost in The Christmas Spirit, a joyous story about finding love at the most magical time of year.

Peter Armstrong and Hank Colfax are best friends, but their lives couldn’t be more different. Peter, the local pastor who is dedicated to his community, spending time visiting the flock, attending meetings, and, with the holiday season approaching, preparing for the Christmas service and live nativity. As a bartender, Hank serves a much different customer base at his family-owned tavern, including a handful of lonely regulars and the local biker gang. 

When Peter scoffs that Hank has it easy compared to him, the two decide to switch jobs until Christmas Eve. To their surprise, the responsibilities of a bartender and a pastor are similar, but taking on the other’s work is more difficult than either Peter or Hank expected. As the two begin to see each other in a new light—and each discovers a new love to cherish—their lives are forever changed.

In The Christmas Spirit, Debbie Macomber celebrates the true meaning of the holidays and the inclusive community spirit that binds us all. 

Debbie’s books are either a hit or miss for me. Sometimes I fall head over heels for the characters and story, and other times I find her stories lack that Christmas sparkle I’m craving. The Christmas Spirit is a definite hit for me. I just loved everything about this story. It’s this fabulous holiday romance that has characters that you will fall in love with. One of the great things about this book is that it is such a quick read. I finished it in a couple of hours. It’s perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to commit to reading a long book during the busy holiday season.

The Christmas Spirit radiates all things, Hallmark. If you love those overly charming and, at times, cheesy Christmas movies, then you are going to adore this story. I loved the manner that Debbie chose to tell this story. At the beginning of this book, we are introduced to this mysterious grandma and her two grandchildren. They want her to tell them a story, and the story she ends up sharing is about these two friends Peter and Hank and how they switch jobs the week before Christmas. This whole part of the book reminds me of The Princess Bride. Debbie seamlessly flows between the story of Peter and Hank and the grandma and her grandchildren. It worked so well together.  

Peter and Hank’s stories are fun, charming, and oh-so-romantic. I was laughing at all the bar scenes when Peter had to try and run the bar and deal with its unusual clientele. Watching these two men try and navigate their new jobs was certainly entertaining and definitely didn’t go as smoothly as they hoped. There are so many heartwarming moments between the characters, and this message of giving and sharing that Christmas spirit with all just radiates from every page. The romance between Peter and Hank and their love interests are sweet and will have your heart pitter-pattering with holiday joy. 

The Christmas Spirit is a joyous and heartwarming holiday romance story.