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Words by Aron Simkins
Art by Erik Dewaal


Dr. Holly Gilmore has all but given up on love and Christmas. As an up-and-coming New York doctor with a successful future ahead of her, she hasn’t had time for either. And now, after making a breakthrough discovery in her field of genetics, she’s been awarded the role of chief geneticist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a position she’s been working toward for the last several years—and one that will undoubtedly make finding love and celebrating the holidays even harder. However, before digging into her new responsibilities, there’s one thing she must do. Holly needs to head back home to Christmasville, Pennsylvania and help her mom put on one last care center Christmas pageant—a yearly tradition that is regrettably coming to an end now that new management has stepped in.


While back home for the holiday break, Holly cautiously takes time to reconnect with old acquaintances who find it in their best interests to play cupid with her love life. Ultimately, the friends successfully persuade her to go out with a fellow Christmasville High grad. As the date goes from horrible to worse, Holly excuses herself for a quick breather where she runs into a surprisingly eligible bachelor who also happens to be on a similarly painful blind date. After commiserating over their shared situation, as well as engaging in a fair amount of playful flirting, the two scheme to ditch their respective dates and meet up later that evening.


From there, the evening goes magically, and both end up back at his place. As the two lie together in the sheets, Holly discovers that, not only is he part of the new management team at the care center, but they also have something else in common—both have longer second toes on their feet. Holly immediately starts to panic, considering both the ramifications for consorting with “the enemy,” as well as the equally troubling genetic trait they share. In somewhat of a rattled rush, but careful not to play her cards prematurely and end the new romantic fling too quickly, Holly begins discreetly investigating this mystery guy. Ultimately her search leads her back home, where her mother hesitantly reveals that Holly wasn’t an only child like she was led to believe.


Will Holly find a way to save the care center and her new romance, or will she discover there’s more to her family than she realized and leave love—and Christmasville—behind forever?

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