“A Christmas Memory” / Truman Capote

First edition in solo book form (1966)

First edition in solo book form (1966)

Since it is now “fruitcake weather,” a story with a Christmas scene seemed apt to suggest. Unfortunately, my favorite Christmas story, “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote, is not in the public domain, so I cannot legally share it. (But, if you Google “A Christmas Memory” and “Capote,” there’s no telling what you might find.) At any rate, you really should find a way to read it. It’s a short story, about a young Capote, his beloved old-maid cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, and their Christmas-making adventures together. All is well until Miss Sook sneaks him a sip of whiskey, an ingredient leftover from their marathon session of fruitcake baking. “Warm and sparky,” the two of them start partying a little too hard–

My dancing shadow rollicks on the walls; our voices rock the chinaware; we giggle…

–and the relatives are displeased. “A Christmas Memory” is a tender story about  love, friendship, and generosity. If you’re not in the spirit already, then this story will get you there, and that’s saying a lot when you consider that the story is only 13 pages long. Exceeding expectations, it’s a true gift.

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