Christmas is weird this year. At least, that is what George thinks. He sits next to his dad in the car, even though he isn’t big enough to sit in the front seat yet, as they head to Grandma Miller’s party. He looks over at him and can see he is just pretending to be happy. Everyone is pretending to be happy, like nothing is different, and little, nine-year old George Miller does not know what to think about it.
At Nana Frey’s party they thought he did not hear them. The kids were sent to open their presents and play with them and the grown ups sat around the dining room table talking away. They talked about football, and the President, and something called the economy. They talked about Mama and Uncle Jimmy too.
They tutted and wondered how he could do that to his own little sister. George doesn’t know what “that” is, but he figures it has something to do with why Mama and Uncle Jimmy are in jail. They visit Mama a lot, but know what visits Jimmy. That makes George sad because he is his favorite uncle. He always bought the coolest toys and played video games with him and took him to ball games. He had the coolest car, not a beat up piece of junk like Dad’s.
So this Christmas they have to do without Mama, and Uncle Jimmy. This year they don’t have as many decorations because he and Dad had to move into a new, smaller, apartment. This Christmas he has to stay at Nana Frey’s because Dad has to work. Dad has to work whenever he can because he had to quit his old job so he could be home when George got out of school.
This Christmas is not as fun as the old Christmases. He thinks about this as they pull up to Grandma Miller’s house, the back seat full of presents they bought at the thrift shop because they could not go to the mall this year. He does not like this new Christmas at all, and cannot wait for Mama and Uncle Jimmy to get out of jail so it can go back to the way it was.
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