School Programs

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays Comments: 17

AMISH HOLIDAYS-School Programs

One of the sweetest traditions I’ve come across in the Amish communities is the school Christmas program. This is something we have in common! I think most of our schools do still have a holiday program of some sort. 

Of course, the Amish don’t shy away from that program being about the birth of Christ. Many Amish children still attend one room schoolhouses. Programs usually include skits and songs, and the room is decorated with things students have made the weeks leading up to the program. All of the community is invited. It’s a time when eeveryone comes together.

I visited a one-room Amish schoolhouse while I was doing research in Wisconsin last summer. It was on the corner of a farmer’s property, and it looked like what you might expect–clean, simple, and it had the basic supplies needed for conducting class. Since I was a teacher for 15 years, I was taking a lot of notes!

When children sing about Christmas, and parents sit in the audience listening, there’s a timelessness to that. It brings us closer together as families and as communities. It reminds us of what’s important. Amish or Englisch, we can all learn from our children.


p.s. – I’m having a Facebook party this Tuesday evening from 8-9 p.m. (Texas time) to celebrate topping 2,000 fans. I hope you can stop by. Click the Facebook link to the right, then EVENTS for more information.

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17 thoughts on “School Programs

  1. jlippo

    I as you may recall am from wisconsin and I wish I would have known you then we could have had lunch!! I will be at the party. Blessings to you

    Julie lippo

  2. Geri Kelley

    I was a teachers aide in the severely handicapped classroom….a very hard place to try and teach, what we did teach was the very basics how to feed themselves, clean off their tables after eating lunch or a snack literally the basics but I loved it and really do miss it. As for right now I am not able to go back but then we never know kids are so precious…hope you have a delightful week…..Hugsssss

    Geri Kelley

  3. Marilyn Green

    i taught school for 32 yrs. i remember getting ready for the christmas program.such fun. i have been retired for 28 yrs.., but still miss teaching certain times of the year, Christmas being one of them.

  4. ilene

    From reading about christmas programs in other amish stories, they sound like fun. Now a days people make such a negative fuss about what can and cannot be done for a chirstmas program in the schools. How about just having fun and leave the politics out

  5. Stacey Barbalace

    My Amish friend’s children had a spring program last year at their schoolhouse and she invited me. It was the sweetest thing I have ever witnessed. I cried! It is a shame that our chidren can no longer enjoy such celebrations in school.

    1. vannettachapman

      Stacey, I would LOVE to see that. Maybe shoot me an email next time and I’ll come visit. : ) As far as school celebrations now-a-days, some districts are more understanding than others. I live in a small rural town, and you might be surprised. We even still pray before football games.

      1. Stacey Barbalace

        That’s awesome that your little small town still does those things. And, I will send you an email next time I go! 🙂

  6. Cindy Linn (@VioletsCrossing)

    I have close Amish friends and generally attend the children’s programs. I agree that it is definitely nice to see that government and politics have not interferred with their ability to celebrate Jesus’ birth and the meaning of Christmas.

    I am new to this site and do have a comment to make. Just the other day one of my Amish girlfriends told me that unless you are Amish, you cannot understand or accurately write about the Amish way of life or the faith. Each settlement has different customs and practices and even within the settlement itself, things can differ depending upon the individual bishop.

    I know more than most since I spend a lot of time within Amish homes and have been through some personal moments with my friends. But she is correct in that since I am not Amish, I cannot understand their lifestyle. It is something that I had never thought about until she brought it up the other day.

    This is in no way a criticism . I just wanted to bring up an observation my Amish friend made.

    1. Stacey Barbalace

      Cindy…this is in no way a criticism of your comment either; I just want to share a similar situation.I also have many Amish friends. In fact, one of my very best friends is Amish. I also agree with you that unless you are Amish, you can not fully understand their way of life. However, isn’t that true with any aspect of life? I am happily married with three grown children. One of my friends is going through a nasty divorce. I can be there for her, but do I fully understand what she is going through? No, because that is not my life. That is the beauty of fiction. You can put yourself in someone else’s shoes temporarily. My Amish friend and I have had the same conversation about fully understanding each other’s lifestyle. She always says to me that we are so close because, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Even though I may not live the same lifestyle as my friends or go through the same trials as them, we can still be there for each other and share our lives together because we share some kind of bond and love each other.

    2. vannettachapman

      Hi Cindy. Thanks for stopping by! : ) I think your comment is very interesting. I have had the same thought myself. For instance, who could write about Texas, unless they’d lived in Texas? Known Texans? And struggled with the life of drought and floods?

      That said, when you write fiction, you can’t live all the things you write about. I write murder mysteries, but I’m a passive person, and I’m not a detective. I do take my job of writing seriously–so I research carefully, contact Amish folk for accuracy, and visit the places I write about. I also pray over my writing. I suppose that’s the best I can do.

      Please tell your Amish friend hello for me. I definitely appreciate her insight.