cakes has to be narrowed down although it is quite extensive.
In the short story "A Christmas Memory" giving the fruitcakes is a tradition and is symbolic of the generosity that his cousin exhibits towards others. Miss Sooks and Buddy give them out to the people who are considered friends or those deserving of having them. The story happens during the depression era when money and supplies are very scarce. The fact that they are able to make the fruitcakes at all is an important issue. Yet, making them is very important and Miss Sooks ensures that the tradition continues. Since the supplies are limited the list of people who get fruit cakes has to be narrowed down although it is quite extensive. Buddy is demonstrating humorous sarcasm when he says that they gave the fruit cakes to everyone except. He is indicating that it seemed like half the world got one.
He gave fruit cakes to the people who had been nice to him throughout the year.