In Freak The Mighty, Max lives with his grandmother, Gram, and his grandfather, Grim. Just before Christmas Eve, Max finds out that his father, the notorious, Killer Kane, is out on parole. Grim makes Max promise not to go anywhere for a few days.
On Christmas Eve, Freak and his mother, the Fair Gwen, have dinner with Max and his grandparents. After dinner, Grim tells fabricated stories about receiving lumps of coal, orange rinds, and apple cores in his Christmas stockings as a child. In fact, he has Gwen laughing uproariously when he confesses that his family was so poor that his father resorted to putting a piece of paper with the words 'coal' in his Christmas stocking. Gram accuses her husband of telling lies on Christmas Eve, but Grim shrugs it off by insisting that he is just telling tales, which are meant to entertain.
In the end, everyone participates in Gram's Christmas Eve tradition of opening a present on Christmas Eve. The rest of the presents are opened on Christmas Day. Max relates that Grim always goes first, as he can never stand to wait. He also tells us that, this year, Grim receives another woolly, button-up sweater from Gram, like all the others he has received over the years. However, Max recalls that his grandfather always acts surprised when he receives the sweater, even though he gets the same present every year.