Ryan is gay, no one else knows it and he hopes to keep it that way until college. His advisory teacher is determined to get everyone to know one another and for Christmas they are to draw names for a Secret Santa exchange. The one person in class that Ryan fears he will draw is Jamie Peterson. Jamie is gay and out. Drawing his name would be a social disaster, so of course that who he draws. The gift is supposed to be made by the person giving the gift, not bought and they have to make three gifts - one for each week up to Christmas break.
Ryan's at a loss and when his mom enlists him to help her with her sock monkey craft class, he is less than thrilled. His sock monkey is a bit of a disaster and ends up being a hoobajoob. (You have to read the story to find out what that is) After a rocky start, Ryan starts seeing Jamie in a new light. I loved Jamie's braveness. He is determined to be himself, no matter what. I was frustrated with Ryan at first, but it is hard to be brave and put yourself out there. Ryan is afraid and needs to come to terms with how he feels about Jamie, himself and what really matters to him,and is it worth the risks.
This is a cute young adult Christmas story that deals with some serious subject matter but in a way that was still light and sweet. Yet, it gave me something to ponder - why was I so annoyed with Ryan - at first anyway - how would it be to live like either Jamie (out) or Ryan(closet),especially at that age.
This is my first Madison Parker story and I look forward to reading more of her books.