Somehow, he hated to open his gifts in front of everyone.
Being included in a real family Christmas made him feel all mushy
inside, a distinctly unpleasant sensation. Even before his stepfather
threw him out his family didn’t have celebrations like this one. On
their last Christmas together, his mother had bought him a pair of
shoes and a new basketball. She let him open the presents the
minute he woke up. But she’d spent most of her money and time
on his stepfather who had at least ten different boxes under the
He didn’t begrudge his stepfather the gifts. He’d begrudged
him his mother’s affection.