Back “The Big Rock Candy Figgy Pudding Pitfall,” Joan Didion

From American Christmas Stories

“It was late in September, about the time certain canny elves began strategically spotting their Make It Yourself for Christmas books near supermarket check-out counters.” Three of the many 1966 Christmas decor publications that inspired Joan Didion to write her humorous Christmas story. (eBay)

Two years have passed since we lost the inimitable Joan Didion, who died on December 23, 2021, at the age of 87.

More than a half century ago, she had reflected on how the Christmas season increased her doubts about herself. “I suppose that it is some specter of failed love, some chasm between the idea and the reality, that makes us wonder, come Christmas, if indeed we have been doing anything right,” she wrote in her column in Life magazine. She and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, were in New York working on a movie during the holiday season in 1969, and she wrestled with mixed feelings about being separated from her three-year-old daughter, Quintana. Christmas, she wrote, seemed to make her “forget that we design our lives as best we can. There is something about Christmas, not the private mystery of it but the coercive public celebration of it, that victimizes us all. Now I am going to wash my face and finish the work I like to do.”

Three years earlier, shortly after Didion and Dunn had adopted Quintana, she had written a far more light-hearted reflection on the holiday season, about the domestic comedy that results when, inspired by the do-it-yourself Christmas decor publications crowding the checkout counter in the supermarket, a newly minted “can-do woman” steps up her holiday preparations. We present that tale, “The Big Rock Candy Figgy Pudding Pitfall,” as our Story of the Week selection.

Read Joan Didion’s “The Big Rock Candy Figgy Pudding Pitfall”

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Benefits of Using Safe Crypto Casinos. One of the most captivating reasons people drift towards Australian casinos online-casino-au com is the promise of anonymity. Safe platforms guarantee that your identity remains a secret. Quick Payouts and Minimal Fees. No one likes waiting, especially for winnings. Safe crypto casinos ensure that payouts are swift and the fees minimal, if not non-existent.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ozwin Casino offers an exciting array of top-notch slots that cater to every player's preferences. From classic fruit machines to cutting-edge video slots, Ozwin Casino Real Money collection has it all. With stunning graphics, immersive themes, and seamless gameplay, these slots deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. Some popular titles include Mega Moolah, Gonzo's Quest, and Starburst, known for their massive jackpots and thrilling bonus features. Ozwin Casino's slots are not just about luck; they offer hours of entertainment and the chance to win big, making it a must-visit for slot enthusiasts.

Support our mission