Christmas is only ten days away but no one is excited about it except my little brother Jimmy. He's only four so he doesn't understand that there won't be very many presents this year. That's because my father hasn't had any work for a couple of months now. Still, he was able to work longer than lots of other people in our apartment building. My friend Elizabeth's father hasn't had steady work for almost a year now. Both he and my father go out on the streets every day and look for odd jobs but there are so many other people doing that too that they don't often make much money. And Elizabeth has such a large family. She has four younger brothers and three younger sisters besides her. Michael and Will shine shoes before and after school and little Tad sells newspapers. Maggie and Christie, the twins, are only six but they help their mother with the laundry; at least she has been able to take in some for Mrs. Jansen-Shaw, a rich lady that lives near the big hotel in town. George and Lillian are still too little to do anything. They're only three and two years old. So as bad as things seem to get for me, I know that Elizabeth's family has it a lot worse. Elizabeth works as a housemaid during the day. Mrs. Stanton isn't very nice to her but she pays well and Elizabeth says sometimes Mrs. Stanton gives her dinner, so at least she gets good food.
I think that my father might be leaving soon to look for work. I heard him and mother talking about it last night when they thought I was in bed. I had just fallen asleep when Jimmy tugged on my blanket. He had a nightmare and wanted to sleep with me. After I tucked him in, he fell asleep right away and I heard Mother and Father.
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