The Amish Quilt
Welcome to our Amish Quilt website.
Here you will find informational articles about the Amish and their quilts.
All Articles:

Christmas in the Amish Home (part 1)

Christmas in the Amish Home (part 2)

History of the Amish Quilt (part 1)

History of the Amish Quilt (part 2)

The Development of American Folk and Amish Quilts (part 1)

The Development of American Folk and Amish Quilts (part 2)

Preparing an Amish Wedding (part 1)

Preparing an Amish Wedding (part 2)

How Do Amish Women Make Money (part 1)

How Do Amish Women Make Money (part 2)

Christmas in the Amish Home (part 1)


Christmas is the most important holiday that is celebrated by the Amish people.  In fact, Christmas is so important in the Amish community that it is celebrated over the course of two days.  December 25th is always reserved for fasting, meditations, scripture readings, and other religious activities that focus on the solemn celebration of the birth of Christ.  December 26th, or Second Christmas, is meant for celebrating the season with family and friends with gatherings, feasts, and gift giving.  This is not to say that these Amish activities are the same as the traditional Christmas celebrations that are observed by most Americans because they are quite different in many ways.


Amish Christmas celebrations vary depending on what part of the country the Amish family is located and how strict that particular Amish community is.  While no Amish community practices the tradition of Santa Claus, some Amish families may decorate a tree with candles or send out Christmas cards, while other Amish families consider these practices too extravagant and unnecessary.  It really depends on the beliefs of that particular Amish community as to what types of Christmas traditions they may or may not follow.


Amish communities in the Midwest tend to be stricter and more traditional in their Christmas celebrations and do not participate in many of the traditions that other more liberal Amish communities do.  The Amish families who live in the Pennsylvania Dutch areas of the country have been greatly influenced by German Christmas traditions and are readily practiced in many Amish households.  These traditions often include lighting candles and placing them in the windows throughout the Amish home meant to symbolize the birth of the Christ child.  Multi-pointed stars, angels, and greenery are also popular decorations used at Christmastime in many Amish homes.  Stars and angels might be cut out and strung on stings around the Amish house with popcorn, or live greenery might be used to decorate hearths or over doorways and windows.


Decorating the Amish church is also a custom that is often practiced by Amish parishioners.  This usually involves building a nativity scene or "putz" outside of the church or creating ones for display outside various Amish homes in the community.  These nativity scenes are often put together by the Amish children in order to better understand the story of the baby Jesus and might consist of wooden or clay figures.  They are often made into quite elaborate scenes with painted backgrounds, live plants, and even running water.  The entire Amish community or family will often get together to build the church or home nativity scenes which are meant to evoke quiet contemplation and focus on the meaning of the season.


Contrary to popular belief, Amish families do exchange gifts on Christmas.  Most Amish families usually pick names out of a hat and are only required to give one Christmas gift to one family member each year.  These gifts are usually handmade or useful in nature.  Younger Amish children will receive handmade clothes, rag dolls, wooden toys, or books.  Older Amish girls might receive household items that they can add to their hope chests for use later in life when they are married and have children, such as china, quilts, and other house wares.  Older Amish boys might receive tools for use on the farm or other useful projects.  Amish wives typically receive cooking or sewing implements and Amish husbands might get a tool or something for the horses.

Christmas in the Amish Home (part 2)

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