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When Christmas Comes
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When Christmas Comes

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,798 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
Emily Springer, widowed mother of one, decides to leave Leavenworth, Washington, to spend Christmas with her daughter in Boston. Charles Brewster, history professor, curmudgeon and resident of Boston, wants to avoid Christmas altogether. He figures a prison town should be nice and quiet over the holidays — except he’s thinking of the wrong Leavenworth! Through an internet ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 25th 2004 by Mira (first published January 1st 2004)
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Best Romance Authors Ever
74th out of 253 books — 184 voters
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78th out of 109 books — 72 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jubilation Lee
Oh, Trading Christmas. It’s a Debbie Macomber book, and I hate this kind of thing, but my book club was all “IT IS CHRISTMAS” so I sucked it up and read the darn thing and I’m giving it two stars because I wanted to give it one and also throw it against a wall out of overwhelming boredom but that’s super harsh and maybe it’s just because I’m a Grinch.

Okay no, that’s not true. I freaking love Christmas. But I apparently am not really one for the Light And Fluffy Super-Quick Romance-Type Christma
Nov 24, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
I have to say I enjoyed this quite a bit - choosing to finish it last night rather than knit, watch tv or play Farmville. High praise!

I liked the characters in this one more than the other Debbie Mac books I have read. That being said, I find these books a little too fluffy and a little too "My Mom's Generation". No cussing. The closest two characters get to sex is toward the end of the book when someone gets felt up in front of a Christmas tree (A little blouse unbuttoning), and the characters
May 16, 2014 Josette rated it it was ok
The story reminds me a lot of one of my favorite movies, "The Holiday," which came out two years after this book. I'm not sure if director/writer Nancy Meyers was in any way influenced by this book when she wrote "The Holiday," about two women who trade houses for two weeks at Christmas and end up finding love. "When Christmas Comes" is similar, about a man and woman who meet online when both are looking for a place to spend the holidays. They trade homes for two weeks and also find love in each ...more
Glenda L
Aug 06, 2011 Glenda L rated it really liked it
This is a cute romantic comedy by Debbie Macomber. She always brings laughter and joy.
Jan Mcleod
Dec 19, 2015 Jan Mcleod rated it really liked it
This is a really cute romantic comedy set in Washington state, Boston and New York at Christmas time.
There are several merry mix-ups concerning where Emily and Faith are supposed to be at Christmas; however, two work-alcoholic brothers, Charles and Ray, are also involved in the mix-up. They all find life changing attitudes and experiences.
A good, enjoyable read--typical of Ms. Macomber!

This novel is also called Trading Christmas because it was made into a movie.
Mar 22, 2010 Karla rated it it was amazing
This is typical Debbie Macomber, romance, predictable, fuzzy warm feelings, sappy. BUT it is so relaxing and her Christmas books are perfect for that Christmas feeling we all desire (give me a cup of coffee and some cookies). This novel is a story that has been reworked several times, recently and in a couple of movies. Two people on opposite sides of the country, both lonely or discontent, exchange houses for a short time. The story goes from there.
Dec 16, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: epub
This is not what I usually read; there are no vampires, werewolves, faeries, Lords and Ladies, or danger of any kind. However, Debbie Macomber gave me exactly what I was in the mood for, a sweet Christmas romance that leaves you feeling that all is right with the world.
Dec 15, 2014 VampAmber rated it really liked it
I know that most romance novels take place in a happy land of make believe where everything ends up perfect, and bad stuff gets fixed easily, but even with that, this one seemed too... easy? The guys meet the girls, and suddenly all their major flaws are fixed? I think not. I still really enjoyed this story, and loved the characters and the dialogue, the whole nine (just like I do with most of Debbie Macomber's books), but that one aspect just annoyed me. The overly easy solution to everything r ...more
Mar 13, 2015 erinthedreamer rated it really liked it
Last Christmas when I was tripping on the hormones your body produces after giving birth and breast feeding I watched a lot of the Hallmark channel. No idea why since the combination of hormones and Hallmark could be lethal if not monitored carefully.

I ended up seeing a movie called Trading Christmas that I really liked. I’ve watched it since, just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things, and I still like it. I’d heard of Debbie Macomber but I’d never read one of her books, until now.

The story wa
Oct 29, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Emily is a widow and the prospect of spending Christmas without her daughter is too much to bear. Charles is a college professor who wants to avoid Christmas at all costs. The two strangers agree to switch houses for two weeks. Emily is headed to Boston to surprise her daughter and Charles to Washington state to finish writing the textbook he’s working on.

Emily’s daughter is not happy to see her mother and Charles is horrified to find himself stuck in a small town that adores all things
Nov 08, 2010 Annalisa rated it really liked it
"When her 21-year-old daughter announces she's too busy to come home for Christmas, mother Emily Springer decides to travel across the country to spend it with her. After all, the two have always spent Christmas together. She arranges to swap houses with a Harvard professor (Charles) who wants to escape the Christmas bustle and heads for Boston. But when she gets there, her daughter has other plans--plans that definitely don't involve having a mother tagging along. Abandoned in Boston, with no w ...more
Oct 23, 2014 Tracy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Christmas romance, light reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a good Christmas story, that I especially enjoyed because of the setting (Cambridge, MA and WA state). I also enjoyed how Debbie Macomber took a contemporary issue and put her own fanciful spin on it.

In this story, a middle age mom gets a call from her daughter that the daughter is not coming home for Christmas. For several years, I was that young adult daughter who did not come home on Christmas Day. In my real world, I was working as a nurse on Christmas Day. My parents celebrated Chr
Dec 09, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-books
A short, fun book that I read from cover to cover in one sitting. Some of the characters were rather quirky, especially the boys' mother. Although sort of predictable, I thought it was a cute book to get you in the spirit of Christmas even when this Christmas may not seem to be the one you were expecting it to be.
Oct 05, 2014 Helene rated it did not like it
The recommendations page on good reads kept putting books by Debbie Macomber on my list and I chose this because it sounded a little like the movie The Holiday which is one of my all time favorites.
What a disappointment. I will never read another book by this author again. Dumb story, dumb characters that are not developed at all. Just dumb me for feeling that I have to finish a book to earn the right to write a review about it. However I must write a review otherwise I might forget how terribl
Jan 24, 2011 Tiffany rated it liked it
When Emily's daughter Heather can't come home from Harvard for Christmas Emily decides to surprise her daughter. Charles a workaholic trying to finish his History textbook and a Harvard professor decides he needs to get away to a small town. Emily lists her house on a house exchange and Charles finds it. They exchange houses for two weeks. Faith, Emily's really good friend, decides to surprise Emily since she was sad about her daughter. When she shows up where Charles is vacation. Ray (Charles b ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, romance
Christmas, the 'season' of spirit, with romance right in the heart of it, is a favorite genre of mine. A few mix-ups happen in the plot, and how things fall into place makes it quite endearing, especially seeing that it involves multiple relationships.
Dec 18, 2015 Mary-Ann rated it liked it
A predictable, light read where everyone ends up happy--which is not realistic, of course. But this book is just right for the week before Christmas, when you're too tired from bustling and decorating to stomach anything heavy and meaningful.
Cherie Kasper
Jun 16, 2014 Cherie Kasper rated it really liked it
A lively mixed up story of people changing places where they live and finding new meaning in their lives. Easy to read. I read it in one setting because it flowed so easily. I would recommend this book to all for a Christmas surprise.
Mar 12, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
I had read this before, just don't remember when. Emily Springer and Charles Brewster decide to switch houses for the Christmas holiday. Emily posts her home because her daughter Heather, at 21, is not coming home this year. Charles finds the post while looking to escape his mother and finish his book. A fine mix-up follows.
Dec 21, 2015 Jenell rated it really liked it
This story was super cute. Maybe a little cheesy, but it was what I was in the mood for, so it hit the spot. I was a bit irritated here and there by Emily and Heather, but nothing horrible. A sweet Christmas comedy of errors.
Nov 21, 2015 Suso rated it liked it
I had read a few rather distressing books in a row (themes of rape and suicide) and so I purposefully looked at the library for something light and fun for a brain cleanse of sorts. It was enjoyable fluff.
Dec 31, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
Predictable. It was a nice christmas story though in a different sort of way. It was nice to read something light and not to challenging for the holidays.
Dec 08, 2012 Stefanie rated it liked it
I had been meaning to read this book after seeing the Hallmark movie adaptation "Trading Christmas" last year. I finally requested the ebook from my local library system a few days ago after seeing the movie again. I must admit that this is the first time in which I feel that the movie is loads better than the book. From page one the book just didn't grab my attention. Emily seemed so weak and dependant on her daughter being there for Christmas or else she would fall apart completely. Totally di ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Pure fun and fluff! This was my first Debbie Macomber book and it was an enjoyable escape, perfect during a busy and stressful time of year. I look forward to more of her Christmas stories.
Nov 21, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it
A bit different than the movie. My final book for the 2015 book challenge! Now, I can read whatever I want.
Spirit Fionna
Jan 14, 2016 Spirit Fionna rated it it was amazing
made me laugh out loud a few times, really cute love story that just brought a smile to me.
Barbara Hale
Nov 28, 2012 Barbara Hale rated it did not like it
I totally agree with Monica, another reviewer, and cannot have said it better, so I quote her here:

"Not my kind of book. At all. But I have read it for you, Book Club. And for you I managed not to roll my eyes at the ridiculous speed in which absolutely everything falls into place so that everyone can live happily ever after the end. And for you I did not once shriek to the sky that as God as my witness I’ll never read anything this sappy AGAIN. And for you I will not even be all snarky when we
Jan 07, 2015 Kim rated it it was ok
Watched the movie that was made from the book on Hallmark. Liked the movie better.
Dee Gurganus
Dec 31, 2012 Dee Gurganus rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book because it was Debbie Macomber and a Christmas story. I realized after the first paragraph that it was the book that Hallmark Channel's "Trading Christmas" was based on. I watched the movie this Christmas season so I was very familiar with the story. The movie and the book followed the same plot but other than that the story was different. Heather's (the daughter) love interest was more of a bad boy. The romance interest of the two other characters came quicker. It was an enj ...more
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Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 770 weeks on the New York Times ...more
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