Sunday Shorts – Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker

CoverRyan is assigned to Jamie Peterson for his class’s secret gift exchange. If word gets out that he has to make a handcrafted gift for flamboyant and openly gay Jamie, Ryan will be the laughing stock of the school. It’s a good thing no self-respecting boy would be caught dead in a craft store, because otherwise he’d be at risk of being spotted when his mom drags him to her weekly craft workshops. He hopes Jamie will appreciate all the trouble he’s going to for this assignment. Finding the perfect gift is gonna be tricky. Jamie deserves something good, though, after all the crap he has to put up with at school. At least, Ryan tells himself that’s the reason he’s putting so much thought into the gift. It couldn’t be that he has feelings for Jamie, could it?

This was a totally adorable little holiday short that I picked up because I saw Jennifer Lavoie had read it and loved it. Sock it to Me, Santa! is a short, sweet, lovely little Christmas story about a young man in high school who ends up facing his feelings—and coming out—thanks to a tie, a spider ornament, a sock monkey, and a out-and-proud classmate named Jamie.

Ryan is given Jamie’s name for a three-week ongoing Secret Santa where the gifts have to be handmade and all the pieces can’t cost more than $10. He’s freaking out. What if people find out he made something for Jamie? What if people think he enjoyed doing it?

What if he did?

This was just the right level of angsty and cute, and even the brushes with homophobic bullying felt real without overshadowing all the joy in the piece. If you’re looking for a mostly completely upbeat little short about a boy coming to terms with himself, and getting brave enough to stand up for others as well as himself, this is it. That it’s also got a dash of the holiday spirit just added the shining snowflake on top for me.

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