In the story A Christmas Memory, Buddy and his cousin give fruitcakes to almost everyone but who do they not give to?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Truman Capote wrote A Christmas Memory as he was inspired by his own recollection of his childhood. It is a short story with a charming and unassuming tone which is so endearing that it even creates memories and fond thoughts in even the most cynical people. "Buddy's" elderly cousin has noticed the changing season and, despite her tendency to confuse most things she remarks that "It's fruitcake weather," without any prompting. She is an appropriate friend to the seven year old Buddy because, despite her age "she is still a child."

She is anxious to get baking the fruitcakes as they have "thirty cakes to bake" which they bake for their "friends." However, their friends are not the traditional type of friends but rather they are almost strangers and people they barely know. They do not bake cakes for the family members who live with them or even for their neighbors. The reason for this is because Buddy's friend is "shy with everyone except strangers." She even sends a cake to the President's wife and looks forward to receiving a thank you note for her efforts. They also receive thank yous from a missionary couple from Borneo. Some of the other recipients are random people like the "driver of the six o'clock bus from Mobile" or  the young couple from California who took their photograph when they were stuck in town with car trouble and spent an hour chatting. Then there's the knife-grinder and it is all these people who make Buddy and his friend "feel connected to eventful worlds beyond the kitchen." 

There is one last cake as they are making thirty one cakes this year. Money is tight but Buddy and his "friend" always somehow manage to scrape their money together. They are not so desperate thought that when Buddy thinks they may have collected $13 in their "Fruitcake Fund" they purposefully throw away a penny as his friend does not want to take any chances with the number thirteen. They spend much of their money but the most expensive ingredient is the whiskey and although it is prohibited they know they can get whisky from Mr. Haha Jones.

They have always dealt with his wife but today he comes to the door and everything they have heard about him is true. "He is a giant; he does have scars (and) he doesn't smile." However, he is kindly when he realizes that they don't have much money and rather than taking $2 from them, he asks for a fruitcake instead. It takes four days and then the cakes are ready. Mr Haha Jones's cake will have "extra raisins" in. 

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Christmas Memory Buddy and his cousin don't give the fruitcakes to nextdoor neighbors.  They send them to people they barely know. Buddy says in the story that it makes them feel connected to the outside world. 

They had never given a fruitcake to HaHa Jones, but when they buy the whiskey from him in the story he tells them to keep their money and just send him one of the fruitcakes.  Buddy's cousin remarks that they will "put extra raisins in his cake."

jaxpi | Student

They give fuitcakes to people they have met once or had an encounter with.  They do not give fruitcakes to the realitives they are living with.

nekepooh | Student

people who once visit their home

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A Christmas Memory

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