The Santa Mug by Patric Michael
When Max invites Darren to come with him to visit his family at Thanksgiving, Darren agrees, mostly because Max has been such a good friend to him in the past. Although they aren't going as a couple, Max's family assumes differently...
This is an incredibly touching Christmas story involving two ordinary men who care for one another, one of whom has some history he needs to finish up before he can completely be in the relationship. All of this comes to a point just before Christmas without being overly dramatic or unrealistic.
My holiday reading before this was very hit or miss, so I was hesitant (and a little grouchy) going in, but was pleasantly surprised. It was sweet and tender while keeping realistic as two friends who become something more. Although no sex is explicitly described, it doesn't matter--the connection between the two men is undeniable, even if we aren't given passionate scenes and dozens of dialogue lines devoted to it.
Nothing stuck out to me as being out of place or weakening the novel. While I struggled with some of the events, I think they were the best option for the characters and I was ultimately happy with the results.