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Publication Date: 2012
Wreaths and holly, fruitcakes and mistletoe, ornaments and snowflakes, St. Nick and Scrooge's humbug, Joseph and Mary, a young child in a manger and magi from the East. These words automatically stir up the season of Christmas and invoke memories of family and friends and hope and faith. By turns sweet and comic, sentimental and serious, the former editor of First Things magazine shares his reflections of the mad joys and wild emotions of the season while growing up on the South Dakota plains.
From the Hardcover edition.
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JOSEPH BOTTUM is the former editor of First Things, one of the nation's most influential and largest-circulation intellectual journals. Previously he had been the literary editor of the Weekly Standard for seven years. He remains a contributing editor and columnist for the Weekly Standard and his essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Utne Reader, Commentary, National Review, and many other newspapers, magazines, and journals.
A native of South Dakota, Bottum is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College. Joseph Bottum lives with his wife and daughter in South Dakota, and lectures widely on literary, philosophical, and religious topics.
"Calling Joseph Bottums The Christmas Plains a classic wouldnt do it justice. This is simply a superb piece of writingelegant, evocative, funny and absolutely memorable. Anyone who loves Christmasand who with a young heart doesnt?needs to read, and reread, and share this wonderfully vivid collection of Christmas memories."
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, author of A Heart on Fire and Render Unto Caesar
"Evocative, insightful, and above all, beautifully written."
George Weigel, author of the bestselling Witness to Hope and Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace
"If you havent read Joseph Bottum on Christmason any subject, for that matterThe Christmas Plains will be a wonderful discovery. If you have, you already know the pleasure youll get from his stories. Christmas brings tidings of joy, he writes, but not always comfort 'in the modern sense' of ease and relaxation. Joy is an activity'something we do,' Jody writesbut comfort is 'an aspiration that can never be fulfilled short of the grave.' Thanks to The Christmas Plains, Ill keep this distinction in mind when the frenzy of the Christmas season arrives."
Fred Barnes, executive editor, The Weekly Standard
"In The Christmas Plains, Joseph Bottum draws on the memorable characters and haunting landscapes of his South Dakota youth to weave a richly textured reflection on the meaning of Christmas. Using his considerable talents as a storyteller and spiritual writer, Bottum affirms a truth as old as the Christmas story itself: Gods grace can reach us through surprising means including the follies, disappointments, and delights of the Christmas season."
Colleen Carroll Campbell, author of My Sisters the Saints
"Christmas, unwrapped and lifted high, in all its giddy, glistening glory."
Nancy Tillman, author of the bestselling On the Night you were Born and The Crown on Your Head
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