This is a picture of a guy standing in front of a Christmas tree. But if you look closely you'll notice that the Christmas tree is a painted backdrop. And the guy is a prisoner in jail. He probably wasn't home for last Christmas. Won't be home for this Christmas. And may not be home for many Christmases to come.
This foto comes to us via Alyse Emdur, who has a new book about murals painted in visitors' centers at U.S. prisons. So... when your wife visits you in prison, you don't have to get your photo together taken in front of a bunch of prison cells. You can use a painting of a cityscape, or a castle with knights, or a beach scene.
A lot of these murals are done by the prisoners themselves (I was relieved to hear that artists are treated like ghods in prison - whew). But sometimes they're given odd limitations - one guy couldn't paint any cars in his cityscape red or blue - he could paint any car he wanted, but they had to be green or purple. You see, blue and red are gang colors.
Alyse collected notebooks of photos that prisoners sent her, fotos of themselves posing in front of murals. And you can read about her book about this here
BTW, the guy in the photo is named Brandon Jones and he was then at the U.S. penitentiary at Marion, Illinois. I looked him up in the bureau of prisons database, and there isn't anyone of that name still there. So presumably he's gotten out since the photo was taken, and has had a chance to have a Christmas at home. Hopefully he's turned over a new leaf.