Amish Holidays-Christmas Decorations
Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain how the Amish live. After researching and visiting and reading … It’s doubly hard to explain how they approach something as special as Christmas. Do they decorate? Yes, they do. As with most things, they do so simply. I thought this scene from A Simple Amish Christmas, might explain it best.
In order to ignore those moments, ANNIE threw herself more forcefully into the household work. After helping with dinner, she again checked on her father, then sat with her sisters and mother, sewing or reading. Above all, she made sure she was away from the house if Samuel stopped by, which he had again on Friday.
She told herself she wasn’t avoiding him, but she turned down an invitation to go to town on Saturday. Instead she spent the morning in the barn, cleaning off the large, wooden nativity scene they’d created as children.
She paused only long enough to talk to the bishop when he came for a visit. They agreed she would be baptized into the church the following Sunday, since there would be no service the next day—it being their off week.
Annie was grateful she’d have a few more days to prepare. Not that the thought of being baptized and accepted into the church made her nervous; she actually was looking forward to it.
But the idea of Samuel watching? Ach! It made her scrub even harder with the soapy water, rubbing away on the large wooden cut-out figures.
“I believe the dust is all gone from that one,” Rebekah said, entering the barn and studying the silhouette of the virgin Mary.
“Ya. I suppose it’s clean enough.” Annie laughed at her own absent-mindedness, then stood and helped her mother carry the four-foot carving out of the barn and place it among the other pieces.
“Mamm. Tell Reba to keep her mouse out of the infant’s cradle. It’s not proper.” Charity marched forward with an armful of straw and dumped it into said cradle.
Reba’s screech could have been mistaken for a mouse.
“He’s a mouse. He lives in straw, when he’s not in your pocket, which is disgusting, by the way.”
“Girls, you both helped build this nativity scene, when you were very young. Do you remember?” Rebekah’s question—calm, wistful, and tinged with only a touch of disappointment––was enough to stop Charity and Reba’s bickering.
Charity stepped closer to Reba, and Annie heard her ask, “He’s all right, isn’t he?”
“Ya. Only a little scared.”
“Maybe you should give him some of that cheese you carry around.”
The two girls turned and walked back into the barn to collect the last of the wise men.
“I remember when we made them,” Annie admitted. “Adam and I practically ran home from school the entire month of November that year.”
“Your dat had the idea. Charity was struggling with the concept of the virgin birth, and Reba was certain the infant Jesus had forced some poor animal to lose its dinner by sleeping in the trough.” Rebekah slipped her arm around Annie’s waist and walked with her back toward the house. “Jacob decided having you children build the nativity scene would help everyone understand the Christmas story a bit better.”
Annie waved to Jacob who was sitting on the porch, wrapped in blankets. “I’m glad he’s well enough to sit outside and watch. That’s nothing short of a miracle, mamm.”
“Never doubt the Lord. He will take care of your dat, and he’ll take care of whatever’s bothering you too.”
What decorations around your home have the most meaning to you?
ps-I’m in Texarkana at the Lifeway Bookstore today from 11-1. If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you!