Mini Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Mini Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Rating: 2 out of 5.
  • Christmas Romance
  • Fiction
  • Paperback
  • 433 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.63

Since this was a DNF for me, there’s not really a point in me writing a full on review, so I’m just going to keep this short. I DNF’ed at about 63%, I guess. The book really wasn’t at all bad, but it was literally the slowest romance I have ever read. I started reading this just before Christmas, but underestimated the length of the book, so I tried to finish it for about 4 months after Christmas, but I just couldn’t work my way through it. It’s like Bayliss thinks she is fricking Tolkien, describing every single snowflake and leaf in the book.

The concept of the book is pretty cool. Kate signs herself up for a program called “The Twelve Dates of Christmas”, which makes her do 12 dates with 12 different guys that have all been screened for compatibility. This sounds like a lot of fun, right? Yeah, except it takes FOREVER to get through the dates. Especially since I was pretty sure I already knew who she was going to end up with. I finally got tired of working my way through pages and pages of irrelevant information and decided to just check if I was right about the ending and then DNF. For the record: I was right.

The book was kind of fun, so if you’re a quick reader and you have plenty of patience, you would probably enjoy this. If that does not describe you, pick a different Christmas romance, something quicker and sweeter. I’ll make sure to recommend some before the Christmas reading season starts.

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A Bookish Guide to Christmas Gifts

A Bookish Guide to Christmas Gifts 🎄

Hello my bookish, caffeine-addicted friends! I hate to state the obvious, but Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to buy some presents for the people you love! Recently, it has come to my attention that some people have trouble thinking of presents to buy for other people (meaning, my boyfriend got really frustrated trying to find me a present and “just buy me a book, I’ll send you my Amazon wish list” only seemed to frustrate him more). SO, I thought I’d help him and all other boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents and any other gift-giving people out a little by making a Christmas gift-giving guide for bookish people! Now let’s get started.

❄️ Buy them a book

I’m so sorry, but I just wanted to start with the obvious one. Buy them a book. I speak from experience when I say that, when I put a book on my Christmas wish list, it’s because it’s a book that I actually WANT. I wouldn’t put it on there if I didn’t, because, trust me, my TBR-list is way too long to ask for books that are not on there.

If you don’t want to just buy a book off my, uhh their wish list, here are some other suggestions:

  • A special edition of their favourite book. If you’re reluctant to just buy them a book from their wish list, find out what (one of) their favourite book(s) is and buy them a special edition of that book (think Harry Potter, Addie LaRue, Dune).
  • Buy them your favourite book. the number of clichés in this post is getting dangerously high here, but just hear me out and I promise it gets better! I personally would love to receive someone’s favourite book as a gift, it can say so much about a person. I would personally take into account the reading preferences of the person on the receiving end of that book, though. If you’re more of a dystopian Sci-Fi kind of person and the gift-receiver is more of a romance novel kind of gal, I would consider if it’s the kind of book that they could and would enjoy.
  • Blind Date with a Book. you may have seen this concept in a bookstore somewhere or online. If not, the concept is that you buy a book wrapped in paper based on a few key words that indicate what kind of book it is. Usually you get the genre, fiction or nonfiction and the trope or any key words to describe the book (heartwarming, pageturner, mystery, feel-good etc.). These Blind Dates are sold in a lot of bookstores, both new and pre-owned and you can also get them online, for example on Etsy.

❄️ Explore Etsy

If your name is not Patrick Star (because he lives under a rock, get it?), you’ve probably heard of a little website called Etsy. All kidding aside, there are so many gorgeous products on Etsy that would make perfect Christmas gifts, PLUS you would be supporting a small business. Be sure to check the delivery time though, because a lot of products are handmade and that takes time.

  • A themed, handmade bookmark. there are a lot of small businesses on Etsy that make the most gorgeous handmade bookmarks. I’ve seen watercolour bookmarks, bookmarks with the legs of the Wicked Witch of the West sticking out (there’s a link at the bottom of the page if you’re curious), bookmarks with quotes. Pretty much everything you can think of, actually. You want a Harry Potter-bookmark? You’ve got it. The gift-receiver is a Disney fan? You name the fairytale, prince, princess, villain and they’ve got a bookmark to match (I even found a crochet mushroom-shaped bookmark). Etsy truly is a magical place.
  • A literary print with a quote or cover. One of my personal favourites (honey, are you paying attention?). If you know a favourite book or favourite quote or you have a quote that you like and would like to share with the gift-receiver, there is probably a business on Etsy that sells a print of it or can even custom-make it. This is the perfect gift if you want the person on the receiving end to know that you put thought and effort into your gift. Just type ‘literary print’ plus the name of a book , a keyword or a writer into the search bar on Etsy and you’ll get lots of results to choose from. For example, ‘literary print, As You Like It’, got me a print of one of my favourite quotes from this play. I’ve linked it at the bottom of the page.
  • A bookish necklace. Now on to the very thing that I discovered Etsy with; Jewellery! Etsy has so many shops that sell handmade jewellery that is often customisable. If you type ‘book necklace’, you’ll get over 13.000 results! So why not go for a pretty silver or gold, handmade necklace with a tiny book charm on it. Or if you want to get more specific, I used to have a timeturner necklace when I was younger (don’t judge me, please. I was like 12 years old). Why not do some research into their favourite books and find some cute token, symbol or shape. I’m sure someone on Etsy has already made it into a necklace. Had I already mentioned that Etsy is a magical place?
  • Mugs! You can never have enough mugs (and don’t let any narrow-minded people tell you otherwise!). Whether it’s coffee, tea, hot coco or all of the above, every book lover enjoys their book even more with their hands wrapped around a steaming mug, ESPECIALLY in the long depressing winter months after Christmas where nothing brings you joy except reading under a blanket and the prospect of reading in the hot summer sun.

❄️ Other bookish gifts that support small businesses

So I tried to stay OFF Etsy for this one, but pretty much every business, big and small, is on Etsy these days, so if you like Etsy, just stay on Etsy (they have an app, by the way).

  • Candles. I came across an Instagram page once from a small business that makes scented candles called “reading portals”. The candles are inspired by a certain book or character from a book and can be lit while reading that specific book and it will be like you’re right there in the story. I haven’t tried them yet, but it sounds amazing and the candles are absolutely gorgeous (some of them have glitters). I showed my sister the Twilight candles and she asked if they smelled like spidermonkey. I’m so proud. I’ll put the link to this specific store below this post and you can check it out.
  • Merchandise. There is a lot of merchandise available online for pretty much every book you can think of or just ‘books’ in general. There’s T-shirts, mugs, pens, bookmarks, book covers, socks, bags, notebooks, stickers, street signs, phone cases, pillows and so on. Often the stores selling these are small businesses, but I guess you can find them pretty much everywhere if you know what to look for. I just found a website with Gilmore Girls merch and they’re gonna be all out of stock by this time tomorrow.

❄️ What else?

These are some general suggestions I personally think you can never go wrong with:

  • Cozy socks. A person can never have too many pairs of cozy socks. Us weird book-reading people love a nice, warm, cosy pair of socks to keep our feet warm when we’re curled up on the couch for hours. You see, we (me) have a tendency to completely forget where or who we are when we’re reading, so we probably won’t notice our feet freezing off until we finish the book. So giving us a pair of socks may save us from having to amputate a foot or two and isn’t that what Christmas is all about??
  • A cute blanket. Ditto. You can find cute blankets literally everywhere for any budget. I hate to bring up the magic of Etsy again, but I ordered from a store there once that custom made a blanket with every album cover from my boyfriend’s favourite band. It was a little on the expensive side, but you can’t put a price on love, right!?? (barf) Plus he cried like a baby when I gave it to him, so it was totally worth it.

There are some bookish Christmas gifts to steer clear of, of course. For example, I wouldn’t go with a Christmas themed book, for the obvious reason that they won’t get a chance to read it AT Christmas. So that book won’t be picked up for almost a year (unless they’re one of those people who like reading Christmas romances in the middle of the summer) and who wants to receive a gift that they won’t be able to use for a year? That’s like giving someone a car when they don’t even have a driver’s license (which, may I point out, may be a little excessive for Christmas).

An obvious gift to add to this list would of course be an e-reader. However, in my humble opinion, if they wanted an e-reader, they would probably already have an e-reader. Ebooks are probably about one third of the price of regular books, so an e-reader is a very good investment to save a lot of money in the long run. Though if the gift-receiver is a book fanatic and does not have an e-reader, there’s a really good chance that they just prefer physical books. Of course if they asked for an e-reader for Christmas, that’s a different story.

I had so much fun writing this post, I hope you’ve had fun reading it! Let me know in the comments below if you have any additions to this list. Subscribe to my blog or follow me on any of my social media accounts to stay up to date on my posts!


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Illustrated Edition:

Harry Potter Special Edition Book Box set:

The Lord of the Rings Leather Bound Deluxe Box set:

Shakespeare quote literary print from Etsy:

Blind Date With A Book:

Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch Bookmark from Etsy:

As You Like It Literary Print from Etsy:

Reading Portal Scented Candles:

Gilmore Girls Merchandise: