This is the most unexpected workplace romance ever, at least for me. I love romance novels, and sometimes it feels like I’m reading the same story over and over. With Comet’s First Christmas, I have to say I had never read that blurb before.
Claudia’s dream is to become one of the nine reindeer flying Santa around the world on Christmas Eve but she never expected to be called less than a month before the Big Show. In the blink of an eye, she becomes the new Comet and is sent to New York, where she meets her Personal Assistant, Jillian, who is nothing like the elves she’s met at the Pole. While she tries to learn everything she needs to know to do her new job, the number of believers start to fall and all reindeer and elves are called to the rescue.
Everything is new to Claudia: the job, the human food, the breathtaking New York elf. At first, she has an almost childlike quality – being thrown in at the deep end will do that to a reindeer – but as she finds her footing in her new role, she grows into it and into herself.
While I was enjoying Comet’s wonder at discovering New York and marvelling at the fact that Santa’s reindeer are all lesbians, my wife asked what I was reading, so I began telling her about this shape-shifting reindeer with imposter syndrome and anxiety who falls for an elf, and she was looking at me with huge round eyes. There’s this very famous ad in France for Milka chocolate, where a marmot wraps chocolate in foil. When something is unbelievable or absurd, we often say “Et la marmotte…”:
So now you know how she was looking at me. I tried to explain about suspension of disbelief, which is all the more on point here. Beyond the fun and cuteness, this story is about allowing yourself to enjoy simple pleasures. One of these being believing in Santa and all that goes with Christmas. I was so immersed that, at one point, I mentally made a note not to forget to leave carrots out for the reindeer next Christmas. One more victory for Comet, I guess: she made me want to believe.
It doesn’t get more Christmas-y than a romance between one of Santa’s reindeer and an elf. If you’re in full Halloween mode, wait a few days before you read this book. It would be a shame if Comet and Jillian got drowned by zombies and ghosts. This novella is fun and silly and cute, and we all need exactly that sometimes, especially this year.