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Christmas In Plains: Memories [Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Jimmy Carter
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2001

Following the hugely successful memoir of his boyhood, An Hour Before Daylight, Jimmy Carter remembers Christmas in Plains -- this very special day provides a source of spiritual inspiration, respite, family ties, friendship, vacation fun, and the simplicity of community.

In a beautifully rendered portrait of very special Christmases, Carter begins by returning to his early years in Plains, the village that enchanted listeners of An Hour Before Daylight, which the New Yorker called "an American classic." He remembers with humor and tenderness the Christmas days of his boyhood.

With only one exception in the following 48 years, the Carters have always been in Plains on Christmas Day. In 1980, with Americans held hostage in Iran, Jimmy, Rosalynn, and Amy went by themselves to Camp David and felt lonely. At Amy's suggestion, they invited the White House staff and their families to join them and created their own version of Christmas in Plains.

Jimmy Carter has written another American classic in the tradition of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory and Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales.


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From Amazon

Jimmy Carter's Georgia hometown has been the one constant in his life, and he pays tribute to it with Christmas in Plains, a collection of holiday memories from his childhood through his Navy days, his time as Georgia governor and U.S. president, and his very active retirement. As a schoolboy, Carter looked forward to painting many-colored magnolia leaves to mix in with the holly on the mantle. His favorite way to collect mistletoe "usually at the top of oak or pecan trees and on the ends of slender limbs, was to shoot into the clump and let the bullets or buckshot cut off some sprigs." And when his godmother went to Cleveland, Ohio, one December, he asked her to bring back a snowball. It was quite some time before he realized that the large white marble she gave him was not "a real petrified snowball." Carter's memories of holding onto faith during the Christmases of his presidency are often poignant, taking place in the context of the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And his postretirement experiences of Christmas are strangely, comfortingly familiar, characterized by jealousy of in-laws and generosity towards neighbors. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This slim yet deeply textured memoir detailing former president Carter's Christmases as a boy in rural Georgia, as a naval officer, a politician and president serves as an excellent companion to his earlier, bestselling memoir, An Hour Before Daylight, but can also be read on its own as a tribute to family and a reminder that economy of gifts doesn't have to mean economy of generosity. Told in clear, honest language, these engaging vignettes range from endearing stories from his boyhood using the tinfoil from his father's cigarette packs to make tinsel for the tree as well as revealing ones Carter's thoughts and feelings during the hostage crisis in the Middle East toward the end of his presidency. These are the humble and heartfelt experiences that shaped and reflect his character: stories of his close black friends in the pre-civil rights era, of one memorable holiday involving a truckload of grapefruit, of another at Camp David, of trying to spend some quiet moments alone with his family in Plains even with the Secret Service in tow. The message illustrated throughout could not be more timely that gifts from the heart are the most important kind and should not be restricted to one's own family. (Nov.)Forecast: Comforting and inspiring, this should have very big sales among readers of Carter's previous book and bring him new readers as well.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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To understand what Christmases were like when I was a child, one has to know a little about where I lived and, of course, the times. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Life in Plains, Acommunity in April 16 2002
Format:Hardcover
CHRISTMAS IN PLAINS by Jimmy Carter
LIFE IN PLAINS
This is another of Jimmy Carter's books of God and his values. Jimmy is a good man and writes something that will not electrify you. This is part of his autobiography from Plains, the village or small town in Georgia where he remembered the good things when was a boy and always returned to Plains with his family to spend time with his mother and his wife's mother for Christmas. His father passed on earlier from cancer during this period.
He graduated from Annapolis, spent a long tour in the Navy, elected for two terms as state senator and then to the Governor of Georgia, before being elected President of the USA. He married Rosalynn, a childhood sweetheart, during his time in the Navy and they had three sons. He now has six grandchildren, at the last count.
After that, Jimmy and Rosalynn returned to Georgia. After founding the Atlanta-based Carter Center he is devoting the rest of time writing and doing good for all the world's people.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Merry Christmas from the Former President Dec 30 2001
Format:Hardcover
Merry Christmas from the Former President
Prolific former President Carter's slim volume of Christmas memories--most spent in his hometown--makes for a quick and easy read and leaves a lingering satisfied feeling. No vignette is particularly earth-shattering, but perhaps it is the mundane and wholesome nature of his experiences that makes them all the more engrossing.
While few observers would term Jimmy Carter a great president, only the most blindly partisan Republicans fail to see him as a noble patriot overflowing with integrity. These identifying attributes are quietly displayed throughout the episodes he narrates. Even when he steps on a few toes, they are feet that deserve it. Those with a phobia about vestiges of Christianity in public schools will shutter when he writes of his childhood, "it would have been ridiculous in those days for anyone in our community, or the state of Georgia, to think that the dedicated religious services that were held every day in the public school might violate in any way the First Amendment." The former president sees great value in the school's religious presentations "because they reached every child, not just the churchgoers." Such virtuous suasion may earn him membership in the vast right wing conspiracy in some circles, but unabashed honesty forms the basis of Jimmy Carter.
Perusing his others Yuletide tales spent in the Navy, as a young father and husband, serving as Georgia's governor, on to the White, House, and back home again, readers may be disappointed by the skeletal nature of certain chapters. However, Carter's post-presidency has produced a substantial oeuvre, and other works can undoubtedly flesh out the missing tidbits.
Maybe the book's greatest strength is near complete avoidance of the political realm. Carter seems to be saying that Christmas is for all Americans, and while politics has its place, it takes a back seat--or at least it should-- to our nation's sacred holidays.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of his time, Peace Person Nov. 20 2001
Format:Hardcover
President Carter is a man ahead of most by centuries, ahead mentally, peace making, way ahead spiritully. These traits strongly show in this book. These traits shown forth when he was President, and for some, these same took advantage of him. The Iranian Hostage Crisis is the utmost example, being a man of peace, the primitive and simple minded could abuse him. This has always been the case in the past, the intelligent and peaceful get run over by the aggressive lower minded. Now Mr. Carter is showing forth by continuing this peaceful way and effort. These pages are more than memories, the insightful can read better than that, they can see that he has a powerful message of peace and advancement that 95 percent of the world is not able to grasp yet due to simple mindedness. But people like Mr Carter are offering us valuable contributions that will in time help. My way of saying Hi President Carter (always the president of peace) is check out another mind similar, a book ahead of its time, SB 1 or God By Karl Mark Maddox. Destiny is what it is all about now, the only way we can assure that is a move to peace world wide. What would our destiny be without the true and honest peace makers?
Recommend reading Karl Mark Maddox, way ahead of our time.
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Format:Hardcover
In An Hour Before Daylight former President Jimmy Carter reminisced about his boyhood on the farm during the Great Depression. Included in that were memories of Christmases, both for his family and for those around him in the farming community of Archery. Following up on the reception of An Hour Before Daylight, President Carter has focused his reminiscences on Christmases on the farm, in Plains, in Atlanta, and in the White House.
Christmas in Plains is a short but warm book that will not take long to read. In that short time, however, the reader will be struck by the importance of family, tradition, and holiday in President Carter's life. Some of the material presented is repeated from An Hour Before Daylight, and perhaps from some of President Carter's other books as well. It doesn't matter. The book is well-written, and evokes in the reader his own stirring of ghosts of Christmas past.
Written by almost anyone else, this book would not attract much attention. Many people have experienced Christmases much like these (except for the White House). Perhaps that is why it does receive attention-because of President Carter's celebrity we will read it and remember our own roots, family times, and traditions. And this is a time when those memories bring us a special comfort.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Side of America's 39th President
I had the privilege and honor of meeting President Carter at the University of Washington, where he signed a copy of this book for me. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Dan Riley
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Joy from the Carters
The short, joyful book contains Jimmy Carter memories of Christmas. His earliest memories begin around 1930 (when he was 5), and involve memories of father Earl and mother... Read more
Published on Dec 22 2003 by Gary Sprandel
3.0 out of 5 stars It's O.K.
This book was not half as detailed as "An hour before daylight," which I thought was great! Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2002 by Grace 2 U
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, Jimmy Carter delights us with a "good read."
Since leaving the White House in 1981, Jimmy Carter has developed a rightfully-earned reputation as one of the most respected former presidents in U.S. history. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Greg Boll
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Memories from the 39th President
In the short "Christmas in Plains" Jimmy Carter shares mermories from a lifetime of very disparate Christmases. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2001 by John Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Good but thin
This is a good Christmas story (or stories) although in places it seemed a little thin. A great Christmas book is Hickam's The Coalwood Way.
Published on Nov. 13 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Mood Setting
Jimmy Carter, the living conscience of America, has brought us the popularization of Habitat for Humanity, fair elections across the globe, an unswerving commitment to peace, and a... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2001 by The Rev. Dr. Daniel J. G. G. Block
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