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For Millions of Jobless, Christmas Is a Season to Endure, Not Celebrate

Nicole Craig, an unemployed mother of two from Pittsburgh, will have no Christmas gifts for her two children, and the ham she bought with food stamps will be far less than their usual holiday dinner. Months behind on her rent and utility bills, she has been struggling to afford formula and diapers. But there is one thing she couldn’t give up: a small Christmas tree and the trimmings to go with it.Ms. Craig spent the last $7 in her bank account on tinsel, a symbol of light in the darkness of 2020. “It’s my baby’s first Christmas,” she …

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Silent Night: Scenes of a Pandemic Christmas

Philip Cheung, Sylvia Jarrus, Dina Litovsky and Dec. 14, 2020Every year, while braving the crowds and jammed parking lots at the mall, I vow that the next holiday season will be different: I’ll spend less time rushing and more time with my family. And yet, one harried holiday seems to blur with the next, like an annual form of amnesia set off by the sweet smell of freshly cut Christmas trees.But this year, that wish may have come true. Like the part in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when George Bailey is granted his request that he had never …

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