This story was inspired by a particularly amazing klesmer band I saw in college, whose name, unfortunately, is lost to me. Of course it's also inspired by the "war on Christmas" propaganda that was popular for a while on Fox News. I'm also particulary fond of contemporary Jewish culture, and the little ways that reform Jews use to get around some of the more stringent traditions without rocking the boat too much. Christmas is simply unavoidable. Kids want the same stuff their friends get. Parents want to please their kids, and unfortunately, kids aren't always as generous.
You may also notice that my protagonist is twelve, but I don't pretend that he's completely innocent, or that he's not sexually curious. The "girls are icky" stage usually ends for boys at about nine or earlier, but for some reason contemporary YA fiction for younger readers still refuses to acknowledge this. When I was in grade school, we used to go to this roller rink called "Roller King", and I was always attracted to the girls with braces. At the time I thought braces made them look more mature, since it usually meant they were older and starting to develop. Teenagers were hot. Even when I was nine. But acknowledging this reality unfortunately causes parents to get nervous. So I wrote this story without regard for market. I was having such a good time that I wrote the first draft in one sitting, and polished it up the next day, which happened to be this morning. I hope you enjoyed it.