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Memoir Review     


Christmas in Plains
by Jimmy Carter
Simon & Schuster, 2001
ISBN:  0-7432-2491-4




Former President Jimmy Carter recalls holiday celebrations in his life in his current memoir Christmas in Plains.  The book follows his life from childhood in Archery; to the Navy; through his state political career and White House years; to his current years in Plains.   

Carter captures the essence of rural Christmas past where mistletoe was shot down from the top of trees, the family went into the woods to select a tree, and fireworks exploded into the night in celebration.  Sacred pageants were held at church and school.   

During the tense days of the Iranian hostage crisis, the Carters celebrated Christmas 1979 at Camp David instead of returning to Georgia.  When Amy lit the National Christmas Tree, only the star on top glowed.  President Carter said the star was the light of hope, and that the other lights would come on when the hostages returned home.  President Carter invited the families of the White House staff to join them for Christmas at Camp David.  Busloads of long-time employees got to visit Camp David for the first time.   

The best Christmas that Jimmy Carter recalls was in 1991, when Habitat for Humanity volunteers built a home for Curtis and Martha Jackson, who was born on Rosalynnís grandfatherís farm.  The new home was ready on Christmas Eve.

Christmas in Plains, illustrated by Amy Carter, is a gentle reminder of the simple pleasures of family and friends.   

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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