*AD – Calm By The Christmas Tree By Katie Burton was gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. You can read my full disclaimer here.
Some of you may already know that Christmas is my favourite time of year. I love everything about Christmas. From the build up, buying gifts for people and cheesy songs, to the decorations, food and family time. My love of Christmas stems 100% from my mum. She is a whole other level of Christmas obsessed!
Another person who is also Christmas obsessed is fellow blogger Katie Burton. Katie has been running her blog Life With Ktkinnes for almost the same length of time as me. I can remember when I signed up to her Christmas card swap way back in 2016. Through such a simple yet lovely idea, she brought so many content creators together and thus stemmed a lot of new friendships. Fast forward to 2021 and Katie has since launched a second blog dedicated to her love of all things Christmas. For an all year round Christmas fix, make sure you check out Christmas With Katie.
When I read that Katie was releasing her first book, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. Her life of Christmas always shines through her blog posts and I knew her book would be no different.
Calm By The Christmas Tree
Christmas is a magical time of the year. In fact, some would go as far as to describe it as the most wonderful time of the year. One of the best parts about December is the build up to Christmas. Let your inner child be indulged, as you join author Katie Burton for her debut collection of short stories and pieces of flash fiction in the lead up to one of the busiest times of the year.
Calm By The Christmas Tree invites readers to indulge in some reflective “me-time” once every few days, spacing each story out through the month of December, and allowing them the chance to reflect on the hope, love, and magic of the festive period. From lovers’ tiffs, to making amends, and from old to young, each of Burton’s protagonists are relatable in both character and the lessons they learn.
Written for reading before bed, on your travels, or during a brief moment of peace with a comforting drink, these tales whisk you away to a world where Christmas is as magical and important as it was during your childhood. Despite the often painful realities of life, there is always a lesson to learn and a reason to celebrate.
I’ve never been overly keen on short stories in the past. I always feel like I just get into a story and then it ends, sometimes abruptly. Calm By The Christmas Tree has completely and utterly changed my views. In total there are fourteen stories and so I decided to keep the book by my bed and read one story a night before I went to sleep. Not only did this help me to relax, I also got to enjoy the wonderful stories Katie has wrote.
One of the things I loved about this book is that each of the stories is so varied. When you think of Christmas books, you often think that they are going to be all happy and cheesy with everything feeling that little bit too sickly sweet. Calm By The Christmas Tree isn’t like that at all. Don’t get me wrong, there are happy parts as well as cheerful vibes, however they are still really grounded and show realistic lives.
Katie has cleverly put these stories together without sticking to one genre. In fact one of my favourites from this book is The Snowman Murders. If you’ve read any of my book reviews, you’ll know that the crime genre is not something I tend to delve into. However, something about this story really spiked my interest and made me want to know what happened next. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the ending did make me chuckle!
Two other favourite stories of mine were Lonely This Christmas and The Magic Of Christmas. These definitely weren’t your typical happy go lucky Christmas stories. Instead they had a very real feeling to them and showed the reality of what life at Christmas is like for so many people. Both stories really made me appreciate all the amazing things and people I’m lucky enough to have in my life.
Calm By The Christmas Tree is a truly wonderful collection of short stories. I have never gone through so many emotions in one book in my life. Dear Santa had me balling my eyes out but at the same time, smiling at the innocence of a small child. Since reading this book, I have leant it to my mum, so that she can enjoy all of the short stories. As soon as December comes around, I will be picking it back up and starting again. Its a lovely way of self care whilst also reminding myself what is important in my life. In addition to this, Calm By The Christmas Tree also reminds me of what the true meaning of Christmas is.
Calm By The Christmas Tree is available to buy right now. Even if you aren’t much of a reader, it would make the perfect gift for someone special.