It's the first time we've seen the vermin-infested hovel in which the ricket-suffering children live. The cracked plaster, the patched sofa, the filthy nicotine-stained shade, the threadbare rug, and above all the scrawny tree with busted ornaments just show how desperately poor they are. And Richie thinks he's being Mr. Wonderful by showing up with a gift. Yes, it's nice that he's being charitable.
But this is a kid with a private milk-shake machine in his limo. You'd think he could pop for a decent tree. Unless he tells themselves that they're too proud to accept charity. They've never been on relief and by cracky they're not going to start now.
Yes, Richie thinks, that's probably how they feel.
God forbid he should ask.