People over Presents

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays, Contest Comments: 131

Amish Holiday Tip, People over Presents

It SOUNDS simple enough, but it’s kind of hard to put into practice. Amish definitely place the Christmas emphasis on PEOPLE and not PRESENTS. Gifts are minimal–usually hand-made or something useful. And the house isn’t FULL of presents. Each person might receive 2 or 3 things, from the entire family.

Changes come slowly, but give yourself and your family a little grace this year. Talk to each other about simplifying. And remember, that it’s the PEOPLE in our lives that matter, not the PRESENT we open on December 25th.

Now for this week’s contest.

I wanted to try giving away something I made. Maybe, if you win this, it would be something you could give to a family member or friend.

This week’s winner will receive:

Leave a comment below with your email and you are entered!

As always, you have the opportunity to enter the contest more than once by sharing the information from this blog with your friends, posting a link on facebook, or submitting an online review of one of my books. Be sure to leave me a 2nd comment stating what you did. (Only 2 entries per person).

The contest deadline is Tuesday evening 7:00 p.m. (CST), December 4th.



p.s. — You can order copies of my books directly from my website now. I’m still giving away a free calendar with each purchase.

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131 thoughts on “People over Presents

  1. Maureen

    A friend introduced me to the Shipshe mysteries. I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. Thanks for sharing–your books and your giveaway–with us.

  2. Susan Fryman

    We haven’t really bought Christmas presents in years. We always try and talk with family and friends on Christmas. We do birthday gifts (small ones) and other little surprises throughout the year. It’s been nice doing it this way. So glad you’re giving away something that you’ve made. Your scarf and hat look lovely. Would love to know what kind of yarn you used? Blessings, Susan Fryman

  3. Juanita Cook

    Our family has grown so large that we can no longer afford to give presents to everyone this year. So we are just giving to the great grand children and one Grand child as they are still very young. If we are not able to be the family at Christmas time we will call and talk to every one. Would love so much to win this contest. The hat and scarf you made look so pretty. Thanks for a chance at winning and love your books.

  4. Melissa

    This would be a great gift! We do not get our children much for Christmas already. Since they were born we never did the “large” Christmas. Many times we have bought good used items or made something for them. We love to keep things simple at Christmas and focus on the Real Reason for the Season.

  5. Debbie Johnson

    This is what we are doing this Christmas! Trying to let our family know we would rather spend time with them than exchange gifts. In this tough economy – I believe with all of my heart – we should begin to strive to do things like the Amish as much as we can & one way we can start is to have an “Amish Christmas”! It was so amazing to read your post today because this is what my sweet husband & I are doing this year!
    I would love this contest because my sister has been in the hospital so much this year & I would love to give it to her! She is in the hospital now after being home for just 1 month – she fell & broke her hip – and cannot have surgery due to her physical health – She is 52 years old & LOVES to read as much as I do – we especially love to read about the Amish! Each one of your books blesses our hearts!
    Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!
    My Name is: Debbie Johnson
    email address:
    Address: 101 Fairway Dr.,
    Senatobia, MS 38668

    Have a wonderful, blessed day!!!

  6. pag36

    Happy Saturday to everyone. Venetta this is a great giveaway/offer. I would so love to win it. I collect and use bookmarks and an Amish Calendar is something I want. All of it is really nice. God bless all Patti in VA—-

  7. Diane Liggett

    What an awesome prize to win!!! I have the book on my Kindle but would love to give it as a Christmas gift!!! The hat and scarf are beautiful, I would keep them for myself!!! Lol Thank you for this opportunity to win!!!!!! I love your books and you!!!!

  8. Linda D. McFarland

    Keeping Christmas simple is a wonderful idea. I love the idea of something homemade, a favorite book, a bookmark or if the person crafts something to add to their stash. We sometimes get lost in the hecticness of the season and forget what it is we are celebrating. Thanks for the opportunity to win – Great prizes! Linda

  9. Jerrilyn(Jerri)

    It would be special to win this contest. I have read all of your books and just waiting for the next one to come out. Have a blessed Christmas with family and friends. Jerri

  10. Donelle J. Kilburg

    We are struggling with this exact topic! How appropriate that you should talk about it! My husband and I are in the age category of no longer wanting or needing “stuff.” We are empty nesters and find that food, family and fellowship are what we really want and need in our lives! Our children are busy establishing themselves in their own careers and homes and don’t have alot of extra money to spend. This is probably why we are so interested in the Amish way of life and their simple ideas! We visited the Shipshewana area this fall and it was one of the most relaxing 3 days that we’ve ever spent! We all need to slow down and enjoy what really matters most to us!

  11. Donna Courtney

    I love the colors of the hat and are so right about seems every year we get further away of what Christmas really is..God Bless You..

  12. Nancee

    Vannetta! This is a gift from the heart! You are truly an amazing person. The scarf and hat are beautiful…my favorite color incidentally! I agree with you that giving from ourselves is the most desirable gift to give and to receive. For the past several years we have taken the money that we would have normally spent for the excessive gifts and used it to purchase warm hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks, long underwear, sweatshirts, etc. for the homeless in the Grand Rapids, MI area. My family doesn’t seem to mind at all that their gifts are fewer, especially knowing that there are people in the Grand Rapids area are warmer in the cold Michigan winters. God bless you! You’re one of a kind!

  13. Linda Ortiz

    My family and I have talked about giving to others this year for Christmas. I have three boys ranging from 20 to 5 years old. I explained that I will give them one gift each this year, but overall, we are going to enjoy giving and being with each other for Christmas. They loved the idea πŸ™‚ Happy Holidays to all!!! Please enter me into the contest….I love this time of year! πŸ™‚

  14. Martha Franks

    My 4 daughters and I decided to make gifts each year in the neighborhood of $10 each for each couple. We love it! I make different jellies/preserves every year. Having trouble being creative with wrapping. I’ve decided to use Folgers red containers. Theyhave stick on decorations for them on their website.

  15. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson

    Vannetta, This is a wonderful gift set. Would be a special receiving something that you have made. I don’t crochet or knit but love what others make. I used to sew a lot and make clothes, etc. for my gifts. But, bad neck and back put a stop to my sewing. I had sewn since I was 9 or 10. Hoping to get lucky on this. maxie ( )

  16. Debbie M

    How true! Each year I make my cards and I make each person a desk calendar that fits in a CD case. Funny, they are all starting to hint that they only have one month left in their CD I’m not aware of that! LOL *Ü*

  17. Raine

    I always look forward to your posts. Thank you for reminding us that we should be interested in the people and making/ giving presents that are needed and personal.We all have enough stuff and sure do not appreciate what we already have. Lets keep it simple, loving and make some wonderful memories. Hugs too you my dear. Thanks for such a fantastic giveaway!

  18. Linda

    The scarf and Book would be awesome to receive I would love to give to my older sister, she would just love them. God Bless as always in Him, Linda

  19. Jackie Tessnair

    I would love to win this contest.The scarf and hat is absolutely beautiful.I love handmade items and would be thrilled to have something you made.I also love your books.Thanks so very much for the chance to win this.

  20. Wendy Newcomb

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway. I would love the book and since I live in FL I have a couple of granddaughters in Nebraska that would love the scarf and hat.


  21. Donita Corman

    It seems to get harder to think of things to give.our family is getting smaller all the time so every Christmas we are together is gift enough for me.Thank you for these contests.:)

    1. pag36

      I know what you mean Donita. Our family is getting smaller and smaller. Just lost a precious niece day after Thanksgiving. Trying to come up with things to make is rough too especially for teens. Merry Christmas to you and all who are reading this. Would love to win this too. God bless

  22. nanalynn48

    I just finished reading A Simple Amish Christmas. I hope for more books keeping up with Annie…
    Your books keep getting better,
    I would love to win this contest.

  23. Barbara Pitcock

    Birthing makes for s better recovery after my 2nd wrist surveryr than a hoof book and my dear husband bought me. “Material Witness” and I am enjoying it so much. Thank you for such enjoyable reading. Please enter me in Yor drawing now too. Oh by the way, I placed your autograph tags in my book and now my sister wants it when I am done.

  24. Karen Schulz

    I enjoy your books so much, and would love to win the next one due out!

    Because I am alone, having no living relatives, Christmas has sort of been broken back down to the essentials, the reason for the holiday, which I greatly appreciate. I get told I am a scrooge because I don’t decorate, but I’m old and not really very well anymore, and it is not important to me. Hearts and good deeds are much more important!!

  25. loretta shumpert


    Thank you for this giveaway. And I will not be sharing it with anybody, this little piggy will keep it and enjoy it herself!

  26. Jenny C

    While both my grandmother’s were still alive, they many times gave handmade gifts. I still have things that they gave me years ago. I have some crocheted booties and a lap afghan as well as a hand sewn table skirt just to name a few. Seeing your hat and scarf (which are beautiful) makes me think of them and the time and care they put into making those gifts for our family.

    Thanks for chance to win, Vannetta.

    Blessings…and Merry Christmas!

  27. Kathleen Greffin Popp

    Thank you for this wonderful give a way. Your such an amazing person Vannetta! I’m so honored that I had the opportunity to meet you and on that very same day I was blessed to meet a fb friend. We are now best friends and were able to meet again in Shipshewana with our hubbys for a weekend. I was always taught it is better to give then receive, and I truly feel that way. I have a grandaughter, and a friend who would love the knit set, but I would keep the book for my self.
    Thank you!
    God Bless & Happy Holidays!

  28. Jasmine Augustine

    I love homemade things, some of my most prized possessions were handmade by my Grandma’s! montanamade(@)gmail(.com)

  29. Ladette

    I would love to win your gifts… I know just who I would give them to!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your generous spirit!


  30. Lisa Vandiver

    i just got through reading that book i love it like all the others amish books i love this one especially. what a great contest.

  31. Jane Squires

    Even though I buy lots of presents for my grandchildren and grown children, it is because I am thinking of them a lot. But I thrift store shop and antique mall, etc. I buy all year long too – not just at Christmas when prices are jacked up.

  32. Mary Adcock

    Finishing Material Witness and loving it. A Simple Amish Christmas is on my next to read list, (after I purchase it). Truly enjoyed the other books I have read and shared. May your Christmas be simply be a blessing of great joy! (

  33. Ann Fitz

    So far I have only gotten to read “Falling To Pieces” I cam hardly wait to read the others. I have been keeping Christmas simple for a few years I make soup mixes in jars and give . I didn’t do it one year and my family wanted to know why so now I am doing this again my sister does machine work and gives for gifts.

  34. Tammy Neill

    I’m going to encourage my own family to focus more on people instead of presents by quoting this post on facebook. Thank you for sharing. And please enter me!

  35. Darlene Keith

    Love all that you write. I’ve read A Simple Amish Christmas and loved it! I have also read A Promise for Miriam too and have Material Witness in the stack—all so good. I also love the hand made items you include in your packages. Please enter my name! Blessings! Darlene

  36. Andrea Hiltner

    Love your books!! Falling to Pieces, material Witness and a Perfect Square are currently on my nightstand! I posted a link to this page on my facebook!!

  37. brenda nava

    I love all your books when i read them i feel like i have peace in my heart.and are library has a tree for hats and scarfs for the needed i would give them to the needed if i would win.

  38. Karen Erdman

    My Mom crocheted, I taught myself to knit. I would love an autographed book, calendar, everything!!! Good luck, everyone!!! Thank you for the contest, this is fun!! I am almost finished one of your books, can’t put it down, but my eyes don’t agree, lol!

  39. Julia Umbro

    I do either books or handmade most of the time. Right now I’m making dresses for my girls before I move on to more crocheting. I would love to win this. πŸ™‚

  40. Judy Burgi

    Wow! I’d love to win that hat and scarf. It would go with my winter coat! Your book and other prizes would be nice too!

  41. Ann Fitz

    I love the way the.Amish live I believe if we would turn off all electronics eat dinner together with no phones , do hope work no computers our children would be better equipped for the future . I want to thank you for the prizes. If I don’t win it is ment to be.

  42. Linda Johnston

    Your books have been a joy to read. I am in the middle of Material Witness and am staying up way too late each evening reading it. If I won, the beautiful knitted items would go to my daughter-in-law in Albuquerque, New Mexico where it gets a lot colder than in my South Texas home. They would be perfect for her.

  43. Linda McFarland

    I would be sooo thrilled to win….been a big book fan for a while……..I have shared on facebook and twitter too…God bless you Vannetta and have a wonderful Christmas….and thank you soo much for writing such wonderful books…….babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

  44. carmen coles

    I’m so over the whole secular aspect of Christmas. I would love to read this book. I’m sure I will, win or not!

  45. Crystal Keys

    Thank you for the opportunity to sign up, I would love to win. I enjoy reading your books. Hope you have a Blessed Christmas (

  46. Allyson L

    Thanks for offering this wonderful giveaway!
    I have to say PEOPLE always over presents!!
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

  47. Mary Jane Troyer

    I would love to win one of your books. I have just heard about them and they are about the Indiana Amish. I am from the Middlebury, Goshen and area and would love to read these. I am hoping that after the holidays I will be able to order some.

  48. Elizabeth Dent

    I would love to be a winner in your contest . All the gifts are nice. I have read The Amish Simple Christmas & was very good..I love reading about the Amish. Love your books. Thanks for the sign up.

  49. linda vanderweyst

    Christmas for my husband’s family changed when the family became larger with all the in-laws and grandchildren. We decided that time together was the best part. We gathered out at grandma’s and had a meal together, visited, played cards and then took time to sing Christmas carols and songs of worship together. This tradition continued after grandpa died and the family took turns hosting. Grandma’s appartment was too small for the 70 people who came throughout the day. This year it will again be at one of the siblings and everyone will bring something to share for the meals. We come and go although most stay for both lunch and dinner. It is great being together with family.

  50. Shelia Wade

    I would LOVE to win this contest, I have read all your books except 2; one I just ordered from your Web Site (A Promise for Miriam), the other is “A Simple Amish Christmas” which you are giving away. Your books taks me back to times that were much simpler. My husband and I have been to Shipshewana many times since it is only 4 hours away. Even though it is a tourist town it is so peacful. I have shared your books with so many of my friends.

  51. Celia Harbin

    You are such an inspiration and God has blessed your ministry. May your foot heal quickly with no permanent damage. Be blessed this CHRISTmas season. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and fill you with all joy and peace in Him.
    Celia Harbin

  52. Colleen F

    Sad to say that too many people think that the more presents they give equals love. I know people that make sure the kids get everything on their wish list. Drives me nuts.

    1. Ann Fitz

      I agree with you. There are people out of work and if they have a credit card they use it. Some even just pay on bills . It is nice to give the children what they want but that is not helping to learn anything like earn what they want the
      kids don’t treat their parents any differently they still back talk , even with cuss words the parents work hard they try to make up for not being there all the time. I have seen this with children that are 3 yrs just to get what they want.

  53. Carol Carman

    Blessings on you this CHRISTmas season. May He fill your heart with joy all year round.
    Love your books and sincerely appreciate your giveaways. You bless a lot of people.

  54. Becky

    I don’t want anything free. Just wanted to comment on what a fantastic book that was. I would give anything to have both of my children home with me for the holidays. It’s been so many years since we have been together. The last time we planned, snow storms hurt our plans. I have a daughter in Canada and my son lives in another state. That would be the greatest gift of all.

  55. malinda

    what a lovely prize. You are so right we need to focus on what christmas is all about and nothing else, i always stress over the meal but something simple would be better then trying to fix everything. I love your contest would love to win one