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A Beginner's Guide To Christmas

(Beginners Guide)

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Festive short story.

Ruth usually spends Christmas curled up on her parents’ sofa, watching feel-good movies whilst being fed festive food and drink until she can no longer move. But Ruth’s perfect Christmas is shattered when her mum receives a DIY-induced injury and Ruth is forced to take over the preparations.

Shopping. Cooking. A house full of hyped-up kids.

Christmas may
Published November 6th 2013 by Smashwords Edition
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely hilarious! Ruth provides a handy list of do’s and don’ts for the Christmas season. The funny part comes when she tells you why she came up with the list.
Ruth’s mom sprains her wrist and can’t cook the family Christmas meals. When she calls Ruth in to help hilarity ensues.
Excellently funny story about all the pitfalls that come up while trying to make a perfect Christmas. 😊🎄
Kelli Santistevan
I didn’t really think this book was funny and I don’t like that the main character complained throughout the entire book and this book didn’t really have a very good ending but I wanted something short to read and I liked the title of the book. This book would be good to read if you’re looking for something short to read. I read the excerpt in this book for another book written by this author called “A Beginner’s Guide To Salad” and I feel like I will like it better than this book.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a free book quick book to read then this is worth picking up, but I agree with another review on here that it should be called Complaints about Christmas because that all Ruth does and it didn't have a real ending. I didn't hate this book but didn't love it either. ...more
Lisa Bentley
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ruth has been roped in to a more active role in her family’s Christmas celebrations. Her mother – incapacitated after falling over a rogue toolbox – has been forced to buy presents, entertain guests, cook Christmas dinner and create the perfect festive event. But is the pressure just too much?


This book, whilst being short – a half an hour read – is the perfect tonic for those dreading the festive season. There is something about Christmas that fills
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you want to get into the Christmassy mood but are pressed for time, this lovely short story is just the ticket as you can read it in a coffee or lunch break. It may be short but it stays with you as it is so well observed. Anyone who has fretted about cooking the perfect Christmas dinner or buying the right present or dealing with relative’s kids on Christmas day after a sugar surge should read this book. One thing is for sure, no matter how bad your Christmas, it will take some doing to beat ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, christmas
Oh my gosh this was so funny. Ruth is facing Christmas at her mother's house and all the Christmas chores are falling to her. The way she tells this story is so hilarious. Whenever anything needs doing her Mom reminds her that her brother has just endured an 8 hour flight and needs to rest. The sheer number of times that is told to her is uncountable. I laughed at her Aunt Pat coming in and insulting them one by one as they receive her.

If you want a quick laugh this is the book to read.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review: A Beginner's Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce Rating: 4/5
A wonderfully funny short story, told in diary form, about the mishaps Ruth has while she returns home to her parents' house over  Xmas.
These diary entries cover a whole range of Xmas nightmares and escapades, my personal favourite involving a supermarket and other people's children. Great Christmas fun.
Eileen Carter
Dec 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Complaints about Christmas

The title of this book should be complaints about Christmas since that is all the main character did. From start to finish. Thankfully this book was a shot story so it wasn't as painful to get through as it could have been. I really did not enjoy this book at all. It was like watching a spoiled brat complain about everything she had to do, though she should be thankfully to be able to help.
Kathy Bryson
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Treat yourself this Christmas to an hysterical short story at family ties over the holidays! How would you react if your mom called and asked for help with the family holiday get-together? Be honest! It's not an automatic yes. Ruthie does the brave thing and not only pitches, but records the experience in a series of helpful, and brutally honest, lessons that are both familiar and funny! ...more
Liz Balaam
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A sweet little short story to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
Pat Elliott
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this short book. It made me chuckle when the heroine was obliged to help out over Christmas, complete with someone else's little darlings!
This is a quick read - and a fun one too.
Emily Jane
Oh my goodness, this book was hilarious! I really did enjoy reading it.

Christmas time is traditionally very stressful and I feel a lot of us (me included) try to gloss over this when we share our Christmas photos online, which is the complete opposite of what A Beginner's Guide To Christmas does.

Ruth complains, a lot, about what she has to undergo on Christmas day when she just wants to chill but I found that quite endearing, and led me to love Ruth as a character. And with the whole book writ
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another short Christmas story and as it was free I thought I would give it a try. I was very glad that I did because I really enjoyed it!
From beginning to end it kept me chuckling along. Now I just want to read the other two ‘beginners guides’ books by this Author, so that I can read more about the characters!
After Ruth’s mum suffers a DIY related injury that means she can’t cook Christmas dinner, it is up to Ruth (even though she doesn’t want to do it) to take over the reigns - with di
Kirsty (BookBlogger)
A Beginner's Guide to Christmas - Jennifer Joyce

Ruth usually spends Christmas curled up on her parents’ sofa, watching feel-good movies whilst being fed festive food and drink until she can no longer move. But Ruth’s perfect Christmas is shattered when her mum receives a DIY-induced injury and Ruth is forced to take over the preparations.

This is a quirky, funny, handy list of do's and don'ts for the festive season. At only 60 pages this is a very quick and entertaining read. This will get you i
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was much shorter than expected, the second half of the book was used to showcase another book written by Jennifer Joyce, which I cannot complain about because it was a Amazon freebie. The story was pretty humorous and made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I would have liked the story to have continued on a little more because it finished a little abruptly and I was beginning to enjoy the writer's style. ...more
A laugh-a-minute story starting with the Office Christmas Party – ending up at her home with family, friends, kids, neighbors and having to do everything because her mother sprained her wrist and can’t do what she always did! Truly a comedy of errors and more then fun to read! Made me feel sorry for mothers who are in their 70’s and 80’s still doing all this stuff for Christmas and really never having had time to enjoy it all!
K.J. Chapman
A quick, christmassy read with humour and relatable characters. The christmas rules that kept popping up (pretty much after Ruth made mistakes or bad calls) were a hilarious touch. I didn't understand the purpose of Gideon or why she was dating him, but the other characters made for a dynamic family. ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading novellas during Christmas time so this year I chose this one. The writing style is dynamic and easy to read. It’s funny, but Ruth really doesn’t stop complaining throughout whole book. And there wasn’t any ending.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really, really, not to my taste. The main character just lets everyone treat her badly. Her boyfriend is awful to her, but she stays with him. And things don’t improve. I thought this was going to be a jolly Christmas story. Just awful.
Kirstie Cooper
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just what I needed - an easy to read book that required absolutely no thinking at all.
Was very easy to read, and was relateable in so many ways, and actually made me laugh out loud!
Great little book :)
Hayley Marsland
Dec 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun short but sweet festive read, ideal if you've got a spare half hour, during your own Christmas chaos.

A list of do's and don'ts, a how not to survive Christmas if you like.

A fun read I will definitely be looking out for more by this author.
Jade Jones
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so wish this was longer! Such a funny and relatable writing style :)
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Maybe you had to be there. Didn’t do anything for me.
Sarah  Jacobs
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good

Was a lovely heartening read once I started it couldn't put it down definitely recommend to be uplifted xxx xxx
Angela Newby
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious short story
This one was great! I laughed out loud. Very quick, very entertaining, very relatable. Ruth needs to dump that boyfriend, though.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully funny little Christmas read .. We follow Ruth in an idiots guide of How Not to survive Christmas .. Some really great laugh out loud moments, like 'He's been on a plane for 8 hours' as an excuse for her brother .. ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quick read to get you in the mood for the Christmas season, whatever your role, but especially if you're a scrooge. This will also jump start your preparations, if you haven't already begun! Could be about any family event--Thanksgiving, reunion, etc.

After Ruth's mom ends up with her arm in a sling, Ruth has to step up and manage the Christmas celebrations at her parents' house. And Ruth's mom refuses to cancel any of the annual plans.
David Caldwell
What can go wrong, will go wrong at Christmas

A young woman returns to her family home for Christmas only to find everything going wrong.

This is a very funny look at the misadventures of a young woman who is unprepared for handling a family Christmas. From having to cook the family dinner despite her lack of cooking skills to babysitting rambunctious nieces and nephews to handling rude relatives, this poor young woman doesn't have a clue on what to do. And she can't seem to get any help from her
Deborah J Miles
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth arrives at her parents home to find she has to do all the shopping, cooking and entertaining as her mother has a sprained wrist. Her irritation at the situation and the way she copes with the holiday made me smile.
Ruth 's character is very believable and resonates with me. I enjoyed this as a quick read and the taster of Jennifer Joyce's next novel, a beginners guide to salad, which follows Ruth's trials and tribulations a couple of months after Christmas. I'll put that on my reading list n
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I'm a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with my husband and our two daughters. I've been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as I can remember, graduating from a pen to a typewriter and then an electronic typewriter. And I felt like the bee's knees typing on THAT. I now write my books on a laptop (which has a proper delete button and everything).

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