A memoir of childhood Christmases on the South Dakota plains. By turns sweet and comic, sentimental and serious, Joseph Bottum's Dakota Christmas is an instant Christmas classic. In this beautifully written account of the mad joys and wild emotions of Christmas for children, Bottum captures the universal spirit of the season even while he recounts his memories with a sharp particularity that brings them alive for listeners.
"Her hair was the same thin shade of gray as the weather - beaten pickets of the fence around her frozen garden," he writes of one chance Christmas encounter. "She had a way with horses, and she was alone on Christmas Eve. There is little in my life I regret as much as that I would not stay for just one cookie, just one cup of tea."
"Joseph Bottum is one of America’s most gifted writers, with a perfect ear and a matchless style," the essayist Andrew Ferguson notes of Dakota Christmas. And "to watch him deck the halls with his customary humor and generosity of spirit is glad tidings indeed - guaranteed to make your Yuletide bright."
"Families have always loved brief Christmas classics," adds Michael Novak. "Joseph Bottum's Dakota Christmas is such a classic."
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- Christian Krapp