Why are Buddy and his friend saving money in "A Christmas Memory"?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Truman Capote’s short story “A Christmas Memory,” Buddy and his cousin save money all year for their “Fruitcake Fund.” Each year they make fruitcakes to send to mere acquaintances and important political dignitaries. Because they have no reliable sources of income, their problem is to find ways to make enough money to buy the items needed for making and sending the cakes. The acts of acquiring and saving the money become a year long endeavor. They sell jams and jellies, enter contests, and squirrel away spare cash received from others in their household. One of their most lucrative money making schemes was a “Freak Show” they held in their barn. Neighbors came and paid admission to see the show. All of these paltry amounts were placed in an old beaded purse they hid under the floorboards. Occasionally, Buddy was allowed a small amount to see a movie but for the most part, the money was used to maintain the Christmas tradition that the cousins cherished.

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A Christmas Memory

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