(Okay... forgive me if this isn't what you're looking for, I've never written a critique before )
Overall, I think you did pretty good job! I like how you used the 'Christmassy' theme, though I reckon it could be taken further by replacing the blue background with a greenish color. I also like how you used the 'spotlight' effect with the background- makes things alot more interesting. The Christmas lights, near the bottom, were pretty well drawn in my opinion and so was the ribbon on Near's head.
The background story was interesting, and I found it really creative. I also liked how you did a price-tag on his foot and the Santa hat. The shading's pretty decent (wayy better than I could do x3) though you could probably make it more noticeable in terms of color contrast.
The only other thing I have a bit of an issue with is Near's left arm... Not sure if it's intentional, but the creases on the sleeve make his arm look somewhat twisted and distorted. Hehe sorry if I'm being harsh here ^.^"
I did the blue to match the sign but I know what you mean. XD I completely agree on you on the lack of color contrast. I just was doing two things in one day and wanted to get it over with, so it's not my best. I think I'm getting more and more lazier by the drawing. DX As for Nears arm... it took me several attempts to try and draw it because originally it only had just the one arm and it looked flat. .-. I still need to practice without a base but I've been too lazy and eager to just jump right in so hence the demented arms. xD Your critique was great and I think it's fair. Thank you for your opinion and I shall try to improve with my next drawing. XD