Today is a chilly day in late November. The heaters, which we can’t turn on or off, are roaring, and the sky is a strange mixture of low winter sun, clouds, and haze. Upon waking this morning, I slipped my feet into cozy winter socks and padded into my kitchen with tiles still freezing from the partly opened window. Looking out and up at the sky I thought of the classic line of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory saying, “Oh my! It’s fruitcake weather!”

Capote’s A Christmas Memory, in the most true and precious of ways, touches us with a semi-autobiographical story of holiday traditions, Christmas giving, the true meaning of holiday spirit, and the memories that hold us together, even years after the loss of a dear friend. This story was originally published in Mademoiselle magazine in December, 1956, and was later published by Random House in stand alone form in 1966.

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If you’re looking for a story that will capture your heart, uplift your soul, and bring floods of memories into your mind, pick up a copy of A Christmas Memory or read the full text online here. Once you have it in hand, click here to read along while listening to Truman Capote himself read it on a recording of This American Life.

So in this chilly November, while making preparations for the holidays, write a letter or call an old friend, open up photo albums of years past, or make a new Christmas memory to hold dear as the years pass by.