Merry and Bright by Matt Henshaw

This story begins with what appears to be a charming little family gathered together near the tree to open presents on Christmas morning. Of course, knowing that this is a story from Matt Henshaw should give you pause, and provide some indication that things will not remain so tame and prosaic.
It isn’t until grandma and uncle arrive with three presents left near the front door that things begin to change for the worse. Driven by compulsion, the trio of Daniel, Sally, and Billy start unwrapping the presents with disastrous consequences.
A lump of coal is just fine with me if that’s an alternative to what happens to this family when they find themselves on Santa’s naughty list. Thankfully, Henshaw isn’t in R&D at Santa’s workshop, because Christmas would be a rather different experience for a lot of people.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can obtain it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Manic Christmas by Lindsay Crook

For “Snowflake,” there’s perhaps no greater torture than performing as a Christmas elf at the mall. Understandably, she’d feel that way, from the pedophile Santa to the grimy, screaming children. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Except for maybe being subjected to a hot box apartment with no air conditioning, a bare trickle of water pressure, and an elderly neighbor who listens to her television far too loud for anyone not hard of hearing. She’s got problems, but it’s about to get more interesting. She’s about to make them your problems instead.
With irreverence and humor, Lindsay Crook assaults the hyper-commercialized Christmas holiday. She also sets her sights on inconsiderate neighbors, annoying coworkers, perverts, and Karens through the proxy of her protagonist, exhibiting knee-jerk reactions of violence that every reader is sure to relate to.
How much chaos can one Christmas elf cause in the week before Christmas? You might be surprised.
As with the previous Manic story, Crook manages to hit on topics from misogyny to miserable workplace conditions, while also attacking the seeming ubiquitousness of perverse male behavior, from the security guard to the mall Santa. Sure, it’s a fun romp as well, but there’s a whole lot of uncomfortable truth in this story as well.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app to your mobile device. The link is below:

Santa’s Package by Nikki Noir & S. C. Mendes

I didn’t know Santaphilia was a thing until reading this story from Nikki Noir and S. C. Mendes. I can’t say I was surprised, just that it never crossed my mind to imagine there might actually be an official term applied to individuals with a Santa fetish. As a bearded man named Nikolas–who also happens to celebrate a December birthday–it almost seems disappointing that I’ve missed out on an opportunity to capitalize on this fetish existing.
There’s so much more to this story than just Amber’s frustrated attempts to find a man who is willing to fulfill her fantasy of making love to the Jolly Old Elf himself, though that does set the stage quite nicely.
Rooted in a possible hallucinatory experience when she was 12-years-old, Amber’s fixation on Santa begins at the same point when her family life falls apart. Saint Nick sits her down and tells her she’s special, warning her that life is about to become more challenging and assuring her that she’s strong enough to make it through everything. Ten years later, is it finally time for Santa to return?
At its core, Santa’s Package is a tale that delves into the potential ambiguity of that point where mental illness and legitimate visitation might coexist. How easily can our perceptions and attitudes be manipulated? Are there cases where someone seemingly insane is actually the victim of experiments and sinister machinations?
Santa’s Package may not answer these questions for you, but it’ll certainly raise new questions to consider and explore, and isn’t that what the best literature is meant to do? There’s a whole lot of potential inquiry crammed into this relatively small package, but if you’ve had the pleasure of discovering this one under your tree, you should certainly enjoy it.

Santa’s Package was released through http://www.godless.com as part of the AntiChristmas event for December of 2021. You can obtain a copy for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app for your mobile device. The link is below:

https://godless.com/products/santas-package-by-nikki-noir-s-c-mendes