Category Archives: Amish Holidays

Keeping Christmas Simple

Amish Holidays, Contest Comments: 39

Nativity Christmas ornaments on gold.
I believe that one reason Amish fiction is so popular is that we all long for simpler times.

For me, that’s especially true during the holidays. I enjoy being “out and about” to celebrate the season, but not if there’s a large crowd. And my heart longs to spend time at home, curled up in front of the fire with my family. So what can we learn from the Amish about Christmas preparation?

  • People over things. During the weeks before Christmas, there’s a lot to get done. But maybe not all of that “stuff” has to be done. If you have a choice between rushing around decorating or shopping…vs spending time with a friend/family member, choose the second.
  • Don’t overspend. Culture teaches us that we can make our loved ones happy if we just find the perfect gift, but is that true? Gifts are symbolic of how much we care for someone, and there are other ways we can show we care.
  • Take time for the spiritual. This is a holy season, but often things related to our faith get pushed to the back burner in the rush and worry of Christmas. This year take time to attend a local service, read the Christmas story from your Bible, and pray.
  • Surprise someone. So much of what we love about the holiday is seeing joy in someone else’s eyes and feeling like we brightened their world. Reach out to a neighbor, an elderly person from your church, or a struggling young family. This doesn’t have to cost money. You can bake a plate of cookies.
  • Rest. Too often when the holidays are over we find ourselves exhausted and depressed. This year vow to take care of yourself, to rest when you need rest, to curl up in front of the fire when you need peace, and to take care of yourself physically by eating right and exercising.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us a way that you have learned to simplify the celebration of Christmas.

Blessings,

V

Announcements for this week:

  • My short story, Christmas at Pebble Creek, is free on all e-readers. If you haven’t read it, please give it a try!
  • A Simple Amish Christmas and The Christmas Quilt are now available in paperback, ebook, and audio book (including Audible.com). A Simple Amish Christmas was my first Amish book and one that is still special to me.
  • Quite a few of my books are currently on sale in both paperback and ebook. You can visit my author page at AmazonB&N, and CBD for details.
  • I’m participating in the Amish Wisdom giveaway. You could win a copy of Sarah’s OrphansCheck it out here.

Amish Holidays

Amish facts/history, Amish Holidays Comments: 2

amish-buggyOne of the most frequent questions I get is: How do the Amish celebrate holidays?

The short answer is “it depends.” Different communities celebrate different ways. Each family has their own traditions. But there are some common things that you’ll find in an Amish home if you were to stop by on Thanksgiving:

  • The meal will be a potluck. Remember Amish families are quite large, so one woman wouldn’t try to cook the entire thing.
  • Families do get together. They usually live close to one another, see each other often, and eat together for holiday meals.
  • There will be lots of youngsters. I mean a lot. The average Amish family has 8-10 children, and each of those grow up and marry and have 8-10 children. One sweet Amish woman I met told me she had 42 grandchildren!
  • There will be games. The Amish love to play games–everything from Checkers to Dutch Blitz to Jenga to board games.
  • Amish folks like to be outside, so you’re likely to see them playing baseball or jumping on the trampoline. It’s also common to find them fishing and hunting when they have a day off.
  • And remember, there’s no television. Chances are you won’t find men sitting around watching a football game, though you still might find them asleep in their recliner.

One of the reasons that I like to write about the Amish is that it reminds me to simplify my life, to pay more attention to the people around me, and to focus on my faith. I hope that this holiday season you are able to do the same.

Blessings,

V

Announcements for this week:

  • Quite a few of my books are currently on sale in both paperback and ebook. You can visit my author page at Amazon, B&N, and CBD for details.
  • I’ve put out a call for my 2017 Street Team. If you missed the announcement in my newsletter, you can access the form to apply here.
  • I’m giving away 5 Christmas packages. Interested? Check out the details here.
  • An Amish Harvest once again earned a place on the ECPA bestseller list. This is the 3rd month in a row, and I so appreciate my co-authors and the work they put into this collection of stories.

Street Team and an Audio Book Give-away

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays, Contest, Street Team Comments: 27

Happy August. Many of you are headed back to school–teachers, administrators, aides, office workers, maintenance folks. As a retired teacher, I want you to know that we appreciate you! If you’re not headed back to school, but you know someone who is, tell them THANK YOU.

Now to introduce you to 2 more of my street team members.  Also at the end of this blog is an audio book give-away, so please read to the bottom!

Rosemary F.

Rosemary F.

Rosemary F.

  • Which one: Ice cream or cake? tough decision, but it has to be  ICE CREAM!!!!
  • What is your favorite scripture verse? Be strong and courageous, Have no Fear and do not be troubled, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  JOSHUA 1:9.  I remind myself when I’m feeling anxious or afraid.
  • Which would you prefer? A European vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation? My dream is to visit  IRELAND!!  I want to see the rolling green hills and the quaint villages and pubs;   and perhaps a leprechaun or two.   That is a goal to work towards.
  • Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?  I would definitely go without internet, as I need my phone in case my family needs me at any time, or if I just feel the need to chat with one of my children or grandchildren.

Barbara T.

Barbara T.

  • Which one: Ice cream or cake? Ice Cream
  • What is your favorite scripture verse? Psalms 121: 1-2
  • Which would you prefer? A European vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation? European Vacation
  • Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone? No Internet

Now for our give-away! A Simple Amish Christmas has released in audio format, and I have some free codes to give away. This was my very first book. It released in 2010 and is still one of my bestsellers. It’s guaranteed to cool you off while you listen!  I will give away one copy for every 25 comments I receive – please share this blog with a friend, on email, twitter (click button below), or Facebook, then leave a comment that you did so. You’ll be entered to win!

Blessings,

V

Celebrating Easter

Amish facts/history, Amish Holidays, Christian living Comments: 8
Texas bluebonnets

Texas bluebonnets

I love Psalm Sunday and Easter and everything about spring. It’s really one of my favorite times of year. I can feel my mood lifting as the wildflowers sprout and the trees bud.

More importantly, the seasons of Lent and Easter remind me of the sacrifice that Christ made for you and for me. Some days it’s difficult to grasp Continue reading

MTK and the Prodigal Son

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays Comments: 8

Murder Tightly KnitHave you heard my good news? Murder Tightly Knit is now available in stores and on-line. You should be able to find it where ever books are sold.

So how many of you have perfect family visiting for the holidays? Yeah. I know. Somewhere someone is thinking the same thing about me. Family is precious, and the holidays is a very special time to visit with one another. But families are not perfect.

I’ve always loved the story of the prodigal son (Luke, chapter 15 if you want to re-read it). I love how it talks about real people with Continue reading

Christmas Gifts

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays, crafts Comments: 12

Is your tree up yet? Mine is NOT, but my sister is visiting this weekend, and I’m hoping she’ll help. Okay, I’m actually hoping she’ll put it up for me.

This week, I thought we’d talk about Christmas gifts — if you like Amish fiction, then you are probably trying to simplify your life in some way at least some of the time. So how can we simplify Christmas? What sort of gifts can we give that will let people know how much we care, but not break the bank?

I have a few suggestions, and then you can tell me your ideas

1. Crafts.101385429.jpg.rendition.largest-2 I know that many of us are not “crafty,” and even if we are most crafts require you to have started already. Plus they can be expensive. Here’s an idea from Better Homes and Garden. Pretty simple and I think kids and teens would love this – and you could decorate it for boys or girls. You could do the letter of their first name or their last name or their school mascot! Continue reading

A Plain & Simple Thanksgiving

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays Comments: 10

DSCN4918It’s amazing to me how popular Amish books are. I’m often asked “why” and the best answer I have is that many of us are a bit overwhelmed. We like the simplicity of the Amish life–the lack of traffic jams, ringing phones, blaring televisions, and mega-shopping. We like the idea that life can/could be simpler.

So what about Thanksgiving? Do the Amish celebrate it? YES, they do. Is there celebration different than ours? Probably. Here are a few Continue reading

Thanksgiving Grace

Amish Holidays, Amish view, Christian living Comments: 10

Three Cute Thanksgiving and Harvest vertical BannersToday I wanted to write to you about GRACE and how we can extend it to our families. I don’t mean the kind of grace like you say before a meal, though those are good too! I’m talking about offering something special to your family this holiday season.

Wikipedia defines grace as the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.” That’s an awesome definition. I’ve always thought of grace as “unmerited favor.” You don’t earn it. You receive it. And you can offer it to others.

Have you ever noticed that some people get tense if you even mention the holidays? I’ve seen people groan, roll their eyes, change the subject, even reach for more chocolate. I’ve been guilty of a few of those things! I think there are a lot of reasons for this, but the primary one is that life is complicated. Right? Kids grow up, move to different places, have various obligations. Not to mention the pressure to have the “perfect meal” or “perfect day” is incredible.

So how about we offer each other GRACE instead? We can say and believe that “it’s okay.” Can’t make it for dinner? Not a problem–because we know you love us. Have other obligations? Not a problem! Burned the turkey? Heat up a pizza!!!!

Part of the reason we respect the Amish is they are able to keep these things in perspective. This holiday season, we could step back, take a deep breath and thank the Lord for our blessings, and then we perhaps we can find the courage to offer one another GRACE. And if you really enjoy making the traditional dinner, and are worried your family can’t come, then ask folks at your church. Be a special blessing to someone else.

Hugs,

V

ps – the winner of the cancer wall hanging and book was RUTH SMITH. All of your comments really touched my heart. A big thank you to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more give-aways!

 

 

Holiday Cheer

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays, Amish view Comments: 13

cstar55All Things Amish, Holiday Cheer

How is everyone this week? How was your Christmas? And are you resting or exhausted?

This is a short blog today, as I’m taking a few days to rest and enjoy my family. But I did want to remind you that the Amish way is simpler, quieter, slower. It’s okay to choose the simple dinner for dinner. Need some peace and quiet? Turn off the television–even go for a short walk if your weather allows. And as far as slower–well I’m giving myself full permission to stop rushing this week, and who knows … maybe even into the new year.

I’d love to hear how your Christmas holiday was. Leave me a comment if you have a few moments.

blessings upon blessings to you and yours,

V

Amish Christmas

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays Comments: 17

All Things Amish – Amish Christmasphoto (2)

I have 8 Amish books out at this point – and 8 more contracted to release over the next 3 years. Two of those books are about Christmas – specifically how the Amish celebrate Christmas, and how they deal with the normal ups and downs of life during this holiday season.

You could say I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and visiting with Amish folk. I’m hoping some of that good common sense rubs off on me. But just when I think I’m getting a good Continue reading