Our First Christmas Drawing
Yes, I am in a celebrating mood.
The Christmas Quilt is now available everywhere–in print and ebook format. WooHoo! Let the Christmas celebrations begin. Okay, I know it’s only October …
I thought for this book we’d do a different kind of give-away. No book! Sorry, but I know so many of you have purchased this book already, and I wanted to give you something personal. So Continue reading
The Amish View – and Christmas
I’m so excited about my new release – the Christmas Quilt. Often when I’m signing books people will ask me about the Amish and Christmas and even whether they are Christians. The answer to that last question is YES – they use the same Bible we do and they adhere to the same principles of the faith.
So what about Amish and Christmas? How different is it? Following are a few things that I’ve learned over the years, Continue reading
copyright, istock photo, Studio-Annika
Amish Hymns and Easter Celebrations
I thought I’d share with you a hymn from an Amish hymnal I picked up while in Wisconsin. It’s not like the hymnals at my church. It’s a little stapled together 50 page thing. The cover says, “Ninety-eight Selection Songs, Addition to Church and Sunday School Hymnals.”
The Amish don’t have instruments in their church service, but they do sing! I was surprised to find so many hymns I Continue reading
Wishes this Christmas
istock photo, cstar55
I wanted to take a moment and wish you all the very best Christmas. And while I’m doing that, I thought I’d share with you some favorite Christmas quotes:
“Christmas is not just a day of the year. It is also–and more importantly–a condition of the heart.” ~Marie T. Freeman
“When I think of Christmas Eves, Christmas feasts, Christmas songs, and Christmas stories, I know it was not a short and transient gladness. It was–and is–a joy unspeakable and full of glory. ~Corrie ten Boom
“There’s no better time than Christmas to become the kind of seeker the wise men embodied. Wise people still seek Christ.” ~Rick Warren.
Christmas blessings, to you and yours.
Amish Holiday Tip, Worship
WORSHIP is an important part of the Christmas celebration in Amish homes.
Some Amish communities celebrate Christmas on December 25th and Old Christmas (Epiphany) on January 6th. Many communities fast the morning of Christmas through to the afternoon meal. They spend the time in prayer, Bible study, and worship! The Amish in general do not have an extra church service in order to Continue reading
Amish Holiday Tip, It’s Not the Meal
Wow. Holiday meals can be STRESSFUL. Right? We worry about having each person’s fav dish. We worry about whether everything will look good. We worry and work ourselves into a state of exhaustion.
As most of you know, the Amish generally have large families. And I can tell you that they cook some fantastic dishes, but it’s not the meal that counts on Christmas. It’s the birth of our Lord, and seeing Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Plain and Simple, Holiday Season
I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for
around my house, and each morning I am reminded of God’s provision.
One of the things most of us enjoy about Amish books is they remind us we can still live plainly and simply in our fast-paced world. The Amish do celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving, but they do so in a scaled down way.
For the 4 Saturdays in December, I will be giving Amish Holiday Tips and also a give Continue reading
AMISH HOLIDAYS — Christmas Grace
We’ve talked every Saturday for the last 2 months about Amish families and how they approach the holidays, how they deal with Thanksgiving and Christmas, and how they manage to do so without the stress and anxiety that Englischers often have.
It seems to me that during the holiday season, as during the rest of the year, the Amish extend GRACE to one another. In the Englisch culture, we often tend to demand more of each other. I’ll give you one example.
I have a blended family. Bob’s kids. My child. Multiple grandparents. And we’re scattered about the state. Fortunately everyone gets along well. I’ve written a lot on this, and how important it is NOT to put pressure on each other, but it seems that expectations persist. We have that Normal Rockwell picture in our head. And so many families I talk to try to make it to see EVERYONE, on Christmas day, which of course isn’t possible. PRESSURE. Then they feel bad when they can’t make it, or they’re tired, or the kids become cranky.
I recently talked with a sweet Amish woman in Holmes County, Ohio. She admitted she might not see her son at Christmas. He’d moved to a different district, in a different state. She wasn’t upset by this. She’d had letters. She knew her grandkinner were fine. She was happy they’d settled into their new home. There was no talk of catching a plane for a quick weekend visit. She extended grace to him …
What if we all did the same? What if we all put our expectations aside, and simple offered a little Christmas grace this year.
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.