A Good Girl Christmas by Sam Hall
I’ve never been a massive fan of Christmas. The vast majority of my family are either agnostic or atheists, so as a Christian religious rite, it’s never done a lot for us. Every now and then, my mum and dad would take us down to the town I was born in, where most of my family lives, and we’d have these massive Christmas celebrations at my maternal grandmother’s place. I LOVED those Christmases as a kid, but my dad never liked my grandmother and she was equally not a fan of him, so the thing I remember the most about Christmas is tension.
A lot of my family suffer from anxiety, my mum and grandmother especially, so that’s what Christmas tends to mean to me—obligation, expectation, pressure. Women rushing around doing all the work of Christmas, lest they be found lacking. Work, clean, cook, prepare, wrangle kids, decorate… You get the idea.
Then when I was an adult, I worked in retail and hospitality, and if you can retain the Christmas spirit after working in December in those industries, I take my hat off to you. I remember clearly the moment I was working in this little open-air café in the middle of a major shopping centre, people walking past after having engaged in an orgy of consumerism, trolleys full of every damn thing, sniping and arguing and hating on the people they were supposed to be getting closer to. That nailed the lid on the Christmas coffin for me.
So why the hell did Grinchy McGrinch pants over here write a Christmas story?
I haven’t watched a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies, probably because I am wayyy too cynical to stand them, but I kinda like the idea of them. To take all that’s good about Christmas and remove all the rest. I saw a meme the other day mocking the picture-perfect little towns that these movies take place in, how there’s no meth dealers etc, and in some ways, that inspired me. I’m the author, so I’m in control. I can remake the secular Christmas spirit in a way that makes sense to me.
A place where people with non traditional relationships find love and acceptance. A place where people strive to do something sweet, loving, and more importantly, a reflection of the relationship they have with their loved ones, as part of the build-up to Christmas. I guess from writing this, I quite like the actual spirit of secular Christmases, it’s just the execution that gets to me.
There were also a few comments about Good Girl in reviews, that the book was more ‘happy for now’ rather than ‘happy ever after.’ That there wasn’t enough time spent showing Cyn why they actually loved her. That the relationships needed further development. So, as my Christmas gift to you, I have tried to do that as much as possible. This was gonna be a short little smutty freebie, but in the end, it’s turned out to be much, much more. This is the evolution of a relationship, from one of connection to something much deeper.
I hope you enjoy it, and whatever you celebrate over the festive season, stay safe and look after you and yours.