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Trading Christmas

Cover of Trading Christmas

Trading Christmas

Trading houses. Trading towns. Trading Christmas.

Emily Springer, widowed mother of one, decides to leave her hometown of Leavenworth, Washington, to spend Christmas with her daughter in Boston.

Charles Brewster, history professor, seasoned curmudgeon and resident of Boston, wants to avoid Christmas altogether.

Through an Internet site, they arrange to swap houses for the holiday. So Emily goes to Boston--and discovers that her daughter has gone to Florida. And Charles arrives in Leavenworth to discover a town that looks like Santa's village, full of Christmas trees, Christmas music and elves.

Meanwhile, Emily's friend Faith Kerrigan travels to Leavenworth to visit her--and finds Charles the grouch...whose brother, Ray, shows up at Charles's place, to find Emily living there.

Through all the mix-ups and misunderstandings, amid the chaos and confusion, romance begins to emerge in unexpected ways. Because when Christmas comes, so does love....

Trading houses. Trading towns. Trading Christmas.

Emily Springer, widowed mother of one, decides to leave her hometown of Leavenworth, Washington, to spend Christmas with her daughter in Boston.

Charles Brewster, history professor, seasoned curmudgeon and resident of Boston, wants to avoid Christmas altogether.

Through an Internet site, they arrange to swap houses for the holiday. So Emily goes to Boston--and discovers that her daughter has gone to Florida. And Charles arrives in Leavenworth to discover a town that looks like Santa's village, full of Christmas trees, Christmas music and elves.

Meanwhile, Emily's friend Faith Kerrigan travels to Leavenworth to visit her--and finds Charles the grouch...whose brother, Ray, shows up at Charles's place, to find Emily living there.

Through all the mix-ups and misunderstandings, amid the chaos and confusion, romance begins to emerge in unexpected ways. Because when Christmas comes, so does love....

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    "What do you mean you won't be home for Christmas?" Emily Springer was sure she couldn't have heard correctly. She pressed the telephone receiver harder against her ear, as though that would clarify her daughter's words.

    "Mom, I know you're disappointed..."

    That didn't even begin to cover it. Emily had scraped and sacrificed in order to save airfare home for her only daughter, a student at Harvard. They always spent the holidays together, and now Heather was telling her she wouldn't be back for Christmas.

    "What could possibly be more important than Christmas with your family?" Emily asked, struggling to hide her distress.

    Her daughter hesitated. "It's just that I've got so much going on during those two weeks. I'd love to be home with you, I really would, but...I can't."

    Emily swallowed past the lump in her throat. Heather was twenty-one; Emily realized her daughter was becoming an independent adult, but for the last eleven years it had been just the two of them. The thought of being separated from her only child over Christmas brought tears to her eyes.

    "You've got all the neighbor kids to spoil," Heather continued.

    Yes, the six Kennedy children would be more than happy to gobble up Emily's homemade cookies, candies and other traditional holiday treats. But it wouldn't be the same.

    "I was home a few months ago," Heather reminded her next.

    Emily opened her mouth to argue. True, her daughter had spent the summer in Leavenworth, but she'd been busy working and saving money for school. If she wasn't at her library job, she was with her friends. Emily knew that Heather had her own life now, her own friends, her own priorities and plans. That was to be expected and natural, and Emily told herself she should be proud. But spending Christmas on opposite sides of the country was simply too hard--especially for the two of them, who'd once been so close.

    "What about the money I saved for your airfare?" Emily asked lamely, as if that would change anything.

    "I'll fly out for Easter, Mom. I'll use it then."

    Easter was months away, and Emily didn't know if she could last that long. This was dreadful. Three weeks before Christmas, and she'd lost every shred of holiday spirit.

    "I have to hang up now, Mom."

    "I know, but...can't we talk about this? I mean, there's got to be a way for us to be together."

    Heather hesitated once more. "You'll be fine without me."

    "Of course I will," Emily said, dredging up the remnants of her pride. The last thing she wanted was to look pathetic to her daughter--or to heap on the guilt--so she spoke with an enthusiasm she didn't feel. Disappointment pounded through her with every beat of her heart. She had to remember she wasn't the only one who'd be alone, though. Heather would be missing out, too. "What about you?" Emily asked. Caught up in her own distress, she hadn't been thinking about her daughter's feelings. "Will you be all alone?"

    "For Christmas, you mean?" Heather said. Her voice fell slightly, and it sounded as if she too was putting on a brave front. "I have friends here, and I'll probably get together with them--but it won't be the same."

    That had been Emily's reaction: It won't be the same. This Christmas marked the beginning of a new stage in their relationship. It was inevitable--but Christmas was still Christmas, and she vowed that wherever Heather was in future years, they'd spend the holiday together. Emily squared her shoulders. "We'll make it through this," she said...

About the Author-
  • Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

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