It begins with these words:
Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.

The short story, A Christmas Memory, was written by Truman Capote and first published in Mademoiselle magazine in the mid-1950s. The story was issued as a stand-alone book in a hardcover edition by Random House in 1966. It has become a read-aloud story for many families at Christmas time.

Largely autobiographical, the story, takes place in the 1930s. It describes a depression-era period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and his best friend. The narrative focuses on country life, poverty, friendship, and the joy of giving during the Christmas season—it also, softly but richly, touches on loneliness and loss.

A Christmas Memory was adapted for television for ABC Stage 67 by Truman Capote and Eleanor Perry. The production starred Geraldine Page and Donnie Melvin, and Truman Capote was the narrator. Both the teleplay and the program’s star, Geraldine Page, won Emmy Awards. The production also won a Peabody Award. 

Enjoy it. And Merry Christmas.

Stephen Brockelman 2016