These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Christmas Tree
Broken Aesop: "You always win when you are good." Even in context the aesop doesn't work.
The plot would have been over before it began if the mayor (who is not in any way supportive of Mavilda's abuse) took more than a passing glance at the children before handing his huge bags of money to Mavilda.
Also, Judy could easily have reported Mavilda to the mayor as soon as Mavilda lost the money in that poker game - it's not like Mavilda could have hidden the fact that she hadn't bought any new clothes or toys like the mayor told her to do upon any actual inspection. The film does make a slight effort to justify this by having Mavilda threaten to evict Judy and her children if word of the abuse gets out, never mind that Mavilda will have no authority to do so if she gets fired, as she almost certainly would.
The orphan explaining how he likes to pretend the tree in the backyard is hugging him when he's sad. Though unintentional, Judy's heavy-lidded oh-you've-got-to-be-kidding-me reaction is what really sells it.