Last Christmas by Greg Wise & Emma Thompson


The perfect gift book, featuring the writing of Meryl Streep, Bill Bailey, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, Richard Ayoade, Emily Watson and others, to coincide with the upcoming movie Last Christmas, starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.

When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?

This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by a unique plethora of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden.

Away from the John Lewis advert, the high street decorations and the candied orange in Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas pudding, this gem of a book introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance – and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas.


Last Christmas is such a wonderful collection of essays by such a wide range of people and is perfect for reading at Christmas.

I loved that this book has such a mix of people sharing their thoughts on Christmas. There are some lovely nostalgic recollections mixed in with people who struggle with Christmas, there are people who have been homeless at this time of year and people who volunteer at Crisis. It really serves to show the full experience of Christmas and it’s a reminder to remember those who are find this time of year difficult.

The essay that most connected with me was Emilia Clarke’s. She writes of trying to find the perfect gift for her father. She eventually hits on the most perfect and magical gift for him and it’s so wonderfully received. It ended up being her last Christmas with him and that brought a lump to my throat. We did something similar for my mum in what turned out to be her last Christmas and I often think how much I would have regretted it if we’d waited to do it. It’s such a reminder to do things now with the ones we love, don’t wait!

I dipped in and out of this book over a few days and this was such a lovely way to experience these essays. Some days it made me smile, and others made me pause for thought. Overall the feeling the collection as a whole left me with is to be grateful for who, and what, I have in my life and to make sure to make the best that I can of the festive season. I definitely recommend this book!

Last Christmas is out now and available here.


5 thoughts on “Last Christmas by Greg Wise & Emma Thompson

  1. I really like the fact that this is a group of personal essays, Hayley. Somehow, that perspective adds a uniqueness to each essay. And, since the authors are all different, I’ll bet each essay has a different take on the topic.

  2. Pingback: WWW Wednesdays (18 Dec 2019)! What are you reading at the moment? | RatherTooFondofBooks

  3. This sounds very good, I’d not heard of it, either. One to look out for for next year (I think I already have too many Christmas books to quite manage!).

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