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A Christmas Memory

by Truman Capote
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What obstacles must Buddy and his friend overcome to make their gifts?

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Buddy and his friend must overcome numerous obstacles as they make the fruitcakes they give as gifts each year.

In Truman Capote’s story “A Christmas Memory ” the friends must devise ingenious ways to obtain or purchase the ingredients to make and deliver the gifts. Buddy and his...

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Buddy and his friend must overcome numerous obstacles as they make the fruitcakes they give as gifts each year.

In Truman Capote’s story “A Christmas Memory” the friends must devise ingenious ways to obtain or purchase the ingredients to make and deliver the gifts. Buddy and his friend live in poverty with little adult support or intervention, therefore they are basically penniless except for the small amounts they raise.

Throughout the year, Buddy and his friend save small amounts of change given to them by relatives, raise money by doing odd jobs, and staging neighborhood activities to raise money for the fruitcake ingredients.

But before these Purchases can be made, there is the question of money. Neither of us has any. Except for skin-flint sums persons in the house occasionally provide (a dime is considered very big money); or what we earn ourselves from various activities: holding rummage sales, selling buckets of hand-picked blackberries, jars of home-made jam and apple jelly and peach preserves, rounding up flowers for funerals and weddings. Once we won seventy-ninth prize, five dollars, in a national football contest.

Pecans are gathered from a neighbor’s property after most of the nuts are harvested. One of their major obstacles is obtaining whiskey to soak the cakes since is illegal. But, Buddy and his friend visit the local distiller who donates the whiskey asking only for one of the cakes.

Despite these difficulties, Buddy and his friend make 30 fruitcakes each year and send them off to a wide variety of recipients.

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