"Calling Joseph Bottum’s The Christmas Plains a classic wouldn’t do it justice. This is simply a superb piece of writing—elegant, evocative, funny and absolutely memorable. Anyone who loves Christmas—and who with a young heart doesn’t?—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 haven’t read Joseph Bottum on Christmas—on any subject, for that matter—The Christmas Plains will be a wonderful discovery. If you have, you already know the pleasure you’ll 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 writes—but comfort is 'an aspiration that can never be fulfilled short of the grave.' Thanks to The Christmas Plains, I’ll 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: God’s 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