Coming Fall of 2018 "The Secrets of Willow Springs" by Tracy Fredrychowski

An Amish Christmas

An Amish Christmas

Photo by Jim Fisher

I often get asked if the Amish celebrate the holidays and the answer is an astounding …yes! They may not rejoice in the degree as we English do but they still engage in holiday celebrations just the same.

Just like us, Christmas is a big day in an Amish home. They believe that Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but they don’t allow commercialization to overstep the real reason we celebrate Christmas. You’ll find no visions of Santa Claus or brightly decorated Christmas trees. What you will see is fresh pine boughs surrounded by a candle or two and strings of Christmas cards strung from one corner of the room to the other.

During the holiday's Amish families across the country come together by sending letters and special Christmas cards to loved ones near and far.

The highlight of the Christmas season is the annual Christmas Eve school program. The children will read poems, sing songs and pass gifts out to the parents and teachers all while enjoying Christmas snacks. It’s a long treasured tradition celebrated through most Amish communities. Long winter breaks are not followed in Amish communities. School-aged children may get a half of a day off on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day and second Christmas, but then its back to school as usual.

On Christmas morning families will gather for devotionals and the exchange of small gifts. Children will most likely receive a toy, young girls will receive an item for their hope chests, and young boys will receive a tool or something special to help them with their chosen trade. In the afternoon they will come together as a family and enjoy a large meal.

Can you imagine having two Christmases? That is precisely what the Amish do, they celebrate Zwedde Grischtfaag, which means second Christmas. Since families are large, it may be difficult to see everyone on one day, so this is where second Christmas comes in. On December 25, they fast, meditate, and on December 26, or “Second Christmas,” they celebrate with family and friends.

A more solemn celebration that begins with fasting, Old Christmas is celebrated on January 6 and symbolizes the day the Three Wise Men came to Bethlehem and found baby Jesus. This day is spent focusing on the reason for the holiday– Jesus’ birth.

No matter what traditions you hold dear may you take the time to step back and remember this holiday in true Amish style ...God, Family, and Community.

 

Exclusively at The Amish Lifestyle - 2019 Amish Wall Calendar

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Amish Lifestyle Blog

Be Still – An Amish Devotional
Be Still – An Amish Devotional

Sarah turned her face to the sun as a leaf fluttered across her nose reminding her that fall had arrived.  It had been unusually warm, and the crisp air was a refreshing change.  The soothing sound of water rushing over the rocky creek helped drown out the empty feeling she'd been having all morning.  

Continue Reading

An Inside Look at an Amish Wedding
An Inside Look at an Amish Wedding

We typically think of wedding season as being spring and summer but to the Amish fall ushers in the beginning of the marriage season.

With basements filled with bountiful canning jars and silos bursting with winter feed the harvest season comes to an end as the anticipation of wedding season begins.

Continue Reading

Katie’s Famous Amish Blueberry Shortbread Bars
Katie’s Famous Amish Blueberry Shortbread Bars

As soon as Katie Miller's resident rooster started his morning song she opened her eyes anxious to get her morning started.  Her best friend Emma Byler was coming over to help her make a new dress for her first Sunday night singeon

Continue Reading