“Imagine a morning in late November.”
That’s the first line and off we go with a beautiful tale about a little boy
and an older woman who is his distant cousin. They are loose-end
relatives and are each other’s best friend.
She calls the little boy Buddy, after an old friend she had, and the three
of them (for there’s a dog, Queenie, as well) spend the story gathering
greens and fruit and pecans to make their annual fruitcakes. These will
be gifts to people who have been kind or friendly to them during the
After all the cakes are mailed out, they hunt for the perfect Christmas
tree and bring it home to decorate—with many additional homemade
This short story is sentimental, but never maudlin and I think it’s because
Capote’s childhood was indeed like this. He was raised by elderly cousins
and had a special relationship with one, Miss Sook Faulk.
The illustrations by Beth Peck are exactly on the mark and I don’t
know how I would ever read the story again without them.
Although my particular edition is out of print, there are similar ones
available currently. It is the perfect book to place you in the right
spirit for Christmas.