JUST LOVED READING: A Christmas Memory

JUST LOVED READING: A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory


Truman Capote

Middle Grade/Fiction


Capote, Truman. A Christmas Memory. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956.

Seven-year old Buddy and his older cousin and best friend live with other cousins of his mother’s in Monroeville, Alabama. He also has a dog named Queenie.

The story begins one cold morning when the cousin declares that it is time to make fruitcakes for Christmas. They have spent a whole year saving their money to buy the ingredients which includes whisky made by a Native American named Haha Jones. They give the cakes to people they have met once or twice or not at all like Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States.

The effort to make the cakes takes four days including distributing and mailing them.

When that task is completed, they take a walk far into the woods and cut down a pine tree and enough boughs to make several wreaths for the windows. The family is poor so Buddy and his cousin make the decorations for the tree.

Their next effort is to make the Christmas gifts for each other and the other relatives. Every year Buddy and his cousin make kites for each other and this year is no different even though they want their gift to be a surprise.

Christmas morning, they try to eat the flapjacks and other treats made for the holiday but they are too excited. They want to open their gifts.The usual gifts of clothes and hand-me downs disappoint Buddy but he loves his kite. Later, he, his cousin and Queenie go out to the pasture and fly their kites and eat oranges. Queenie buries the bone they bought for him for Christmas.

Ominously, this is the last Christmas the three will spend together.


A Christmas Memory is based on Truman Capote’s childhood memories living with his mother’s relatives in Monroeville, Alabama during the Great Depression. Few people were immune from its effects and the repressive atmosphere of Jim Crow that pervaded the South. But this story is really about two outcasts who loved and supported each other during difficult times.

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About marion

I first wrote and sketched as a child growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and Brooklyn, New York. I received her first recognition for my creativity when I won the New York City Schools Art Award and participated in my first art exhibit in downtown Manhattan. I was fourteen and a half when I moved to Cyprus with my family. I experienced culture shock but I continued to write about and sketch the sights and sounds of another country and many other things. I am a creative person. I write children's and Young Adult fiction and nonfiction. I write historical and Coming of Age Young Adult novels. I also write picture books and art books for elementary school children. I am in the process of writing a fictionalized biography of a member of the Belgian Resistance who also fought for the US Army during World War II. I worked as a freelance editor for two local companies: College Prowler and SterlingHouse Publisher. I also worked as an assistant literary agent for Lee Shore Agency. I was attending Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program at the time and the experience was invaluable. My course work toward my Master of Arts degree in turn helped me at work. As an assistant literary agent, I reviewed all incoming manuscripts, cultivated a relationship with the writers we contracted and marketed our books to book publishers for sale. I “freelanced” my editing skills which included working with the manuscript acquisitions editor, selecting book covers with the art department, writing the book jacket blurb, reading film scripts and executing general office duties as assigned. Oh, by the way, I edited books, too. I even utilized Adobe InDesign for the editing that I did for College Prowler. I’ve also reviewed published books and conducted research. I have published nonfiction articles and books online and in print. As an artist, I have exhibited my mixed media drawings and collages nationally and regionally and have worked as a freelance designer and calligrapher. I have a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

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