Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”

“I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when he came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’ll wager it never happens. I’ll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are… …just what they’ve always seen, was seeing Him”Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory” (1956)

It’s fruitcake weather.

Way back in time, just after the dinosaurs roamed the earth, Truman Capote wrote a short story about two cousins.  We learn of the motherly older cousin and the young boy named “Buddy”.  They are a poor southern family.  Each year they struggle to raise enough money to make fruitcakes to give away.

So, who are the recipients of these special fruitcakes?  Friends, movie stars, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, of course.

I like this story because our heroes have goals and those goals produce happiness for both parties, the giver and the recipient.  In fact, we don’t really know if the recipient is happy.  We know the effort of baking and giving fruitcakes by the cousins produces their happiness.

Isn’t that the way it should be?

Read the short story

Listen to Truman Capote read the short story (under the first picture)


About Christopher Hessenflow

Christopher Hessenflow is a financial planner in the Chicago area. He works with all sorts of people who are much more interesting than he is. He enjoys his career which lends him time to think and, sometimes, be creative. Chip was born bald.
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