In A Christmas Memory, as friends, what do Buddy and his cousin give to each other, and what do they get in return? In your opinion, why does this friendship have a lasting effect on Buddy?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Buddy and his cousin provide invaluable things to each other during their friendship. Buddy provides a mirror to his cousin’s past. She lost her childhood friend named Buddy, therefore she calls her cousin Buddy. Due to her disabilities she cannot function as a mature adult. Buddy does not judge her; instead he is her truest friend and confidant. They function on a similar level even though, in this memoir, he is only seven years old. He is able to accept her quirks, superstitions, and slightly adventurous spirit.

For his part, Buddy receives unconditional love from his cousin, which he does not receive from the other adults in his life. She showers him with attention and teaches him the value of the little things in life such as homemade kites on sunny, windy days and time spent together making Christmas ornaments.

Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the whole, too much aware of them.

The second part of this question asks for an opinion. In my opinion, the friendship has a lasting impression on Buddy due to its unconditional nature. He does not receive attention or approval from the other adults in his life; therefore he bonds with his cousin as she does with him. When he is sent away to military school, she provides the link to the only home he knew by writing to him. Although the news she provides is mundane, it is what he needs to stay connected. Their bond is so close that Buddy instinctively knows when his friend dies. They fulfill a void in each other other’s lives.

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A Christmas Memory

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