"My old landlady had me in her living room on Christmas Eve to look at her tree. It was scrawny, with the lights flickering on and off, and she was sniffling about her son in prison. I got out of there.
Almost everybody knows the gag about "lonely as a whorehouse on Christmas Eve." Well, I lived it—in a side street saloon, that is, listening to the Christmas carols on the radio and drinking beer for beer with a white-haired bartender.
The next day I went to the Empire Room in the Palmer House, got a table in a corner and ate a big dinner.
I was halfway through the meal before I began to realize that the turkey didn't taste much better than it had at Stateville. Freedom was beginning to pall on me, I guess. When I got home that evening, there was a holiday-wrapped package on my bureau. It was a necktie, a gift from the landlady. I had put a box of candy under her scrawny tree, and now she was paying off." Roger Touhy, The Stolen years