Patrick van Aanholt had double cause for celebration after helping keep a clean sheet and scoring the goal that saw Sunderland beat Watford.
The Dutch left-back scored the winning goal four minutes after the break after a sweeping move by Sunderland.
It was his third of the campaign and no defender has scored more Premier League goals since the start of last season than the 26-year-old, who has netted seven in total.
A delighted van Aanholt says the Sunderland squad and fans can now look forward to enjoying Christmas after moving off the bottom of the table.
“It was a must-win - before the game, the gaffer said that,” said van Aanholt.
“We got to half-time with a clean sheet, and we had made a couple of chances down the left-hand side.
“The gaffer said we had to keep doing what we were doing and the chances would fall, and fortunately I scored the goal.
“It’s been a while since I scored, so I am happy with that.
“It has helped us get the three points which is the most important thing.
“We can have a lovely Christmas now!”
The clean sheet against Watford was only Sunderland’s second of the season.
Van Aanholt added: “Sometimes you just have to win, and that’s what we did.
“Now we can move on to the next one.
“We always battle, and we did a great job to keep a clean sheet.
“Clean sheets help you win games, and thankfully we got the three points.”