Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber tells the story of how a young woman’s childhood letters to Santa have a profound resonance on her current life. When Lindy Carmichael goes home for Christmas, her mother Ellen shares with her the letters she wrote to Santa years ago. Lindy’s childhood wishes had come true–or at least sufficient vagaries had occurred to link those occurrences to the letters–and Ellen figured it might be a good idea to relive the tradition, especially since Lindy had discovered that her boyfriend and roommate had been carrying on behind her back. Maybe if Lindy wrote to Santa again, he would grant what she wished for and give her a happy Christmas after all.
Lindy plays along and writes a letter to Santa, and it doesn’t take long for her wishes to come true. She asked for a best friend and while home for Christmas is able to reestablish contact with Peggy, her childhood best friend. Of course, this being a Macomber romance, when one dreams of meeting Prince Charming, that wish is always granted. She meets Will Kincade, who, going by the name of Billy, used to be a bully who tormented the young Lindy when they were both very young. He turned into a gorgeous entrepreneur who falls hopelessly in love with her. Lindy feels the same, and is divided between her new promotion and rising career in Seattle and taking a risk by leaving the city to set up a business of her own in her hometown. It doesn’t take long to figure out what option she chooses.
Of all the Macomber Christmas novels I have read, I liked Dear Santa the least, one of the reasons being its contrived dialogue, which seemed more scripted, as if the characters were reading quotations from a book of inspirations and personal devotions. Macomber still wrote a rapid page-turner where the dialogue kept the pages moving. I did not accept that Lindy fell for Will so suddenly; I would think that a bully would always remain a person to avoid, regardless of how drop-dead gorgeous he became. Although Lindy is a smart professional who would likely make a successful go at establishing her own business, I felt that she set feminism back seventy years when she decided to uproot and move to be close to the man that she loved. I realize I am only saying this because I didn’t buy the intensity of their relationship. Will is a needy man head over heels in love, yet tied to a business backed with major investments by silent partners. Macomber wrote Will’s character such that it would be harder for him to uproot to Seattle. Yet to have Lindy do so, for a man she had only gotten to know for two weeks, besides which who also used to bully her, cast her in a submissive role of a weak woman who seemed to do whatever her man asked.
Macomber’s novels are all speedy reads so I realized I wouldn’t be spending a lot of time with a book I didn’t like. There are more Macomber Christmas reads coming up so I hope to find some festive cheer in the next one.