Allison: Can This Be Christmas | Debbie Macomber | Novella Review

Can This Be Christmas? is one of Debbie Macomber’s first Christmas stories. It is a short story about a group of passengers aboard a train who have been redirected from the snowed in airport of Bangor, Maine on Christmas Eve. They are all heading to Boston in hope of making connections to take them to their official destinations for the holidays. None of them are happy with being rerouted and the tensions are high. When a blizzard forces them to spend the night before Christmas together, the spirit of Christmas and the holidays is truly put to the test.

Can This Be Christmas Cover

The characters in this short story are as follows: Len, who is in the military and trying to get home to ask his girlfriend to marry him ; Cathy, a widow who lost her husband a month ago and who is trying to get to her daughters home ; Kelly and Nick who are parents to a newborn they adopted and who are trying to get to Kelly’s parents home for the holidays ; Matt who is a salesman with a computer company and who has been having problems at home with his wife ; and Elise who is a single mom traveling with her daughter Kate. All of the characters wind up interacting with each other in one way or another as they are in such close knit circumstances. At first the tensions are running high so when the baby cries it bothers some of the other passengers or when the little girl asks if Santa will be able to find it other passengers get annoyed. All that anyone wants to do it get home to their families yet little by little they find that a bit of kindness goes a long way to make this a special Christmas regardless of the circumstances.

Can This Be Christmas? is a good short story to help you get into the Christmas spirit. It’s a little bit cliché, maybe a little bit stereotypical, and even a tad predictable but it is a good reminder of what a little bit of kindness and goodwill can do especially during the holidays. It’s also a good reminder of being grateful for what you have instead of being upset because of what you may feel that you lack. I enjoyed watching the character’s evolve and adapt to each other within their circumstances and smiled as they did their best to make this a “Christmas to remember”. Maybe you will to.

Disclosure: Bought a copy for my Nook

Other reviews of Can This Be Christmas by Debbie Macomber:

The Romance Reader: “You could pack away Can This Be Christmas? with your holiday decorations, take it out each year and renew the warm, fuzzy feeling by reading how these folks found the true meaning of Christmas.

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. What I really like about this novella, based on your review, is that it seems like the kind of novella that would really encourage readers to feel the Christmas spirit. Sure, it might be cliche, as you’ve said, but sometimes, that just works too!