Christmas in the Amish Home (part 2)
The traditional Christmas dinner is usually the highlight of
the Christmas celebration in the Amish home. These meals are generally very
elaborate and similar in nature to the Amish wedding dinners which might
include roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, salads, fruits,
breads, cakes, cookies, pies, and candies. Just about every Amish family holds
some sort of Christmas meal and gathering. Because of this, many of the
Christmas celebrations continue on well into February since it would be
impossible to go to all of the gatherings in just two short days.
At the Amish schoolhouse, a Christmas program is usually
planned and it is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Amish
children may spend weeks, months, or even the entire year in preparation for
the annual Christmas program that will be presented to the entire Amish
community. The Amish children will make decorations, sing songs, tell stories,
read poems, and put on stage plays in order to celebrate the meaning of
Christmas. Many times these presentations are humorous in nature and are one
of the few times that they are allowed to "perform" in front of an audience.
Special Amish cookies and candies might be made, served, and exchanged. Gifts
such as specially made Amish quilts, toys, or other wooden crafts might be
exchanged between the children or the teacher.
Outdoor games are usually enjoyed by the Amish children
during this time of year. In areas where it snows, the children will race down
the hills on their sleds or saucers. Ice skating, ice hockey, and volleyball
are popular activities amongst Amish children. Snowball fights and snowman
building are common winter activities this time of year in the Amish
communities. Most Amish children continue going to school throughout the
Christmas season because they are usually let out earlier than non-Amish
children in preparation for the coming spring harvest.
Non-Amish visitors might also be invited to join in on the
Amish Christmas celebrations as well. While the Amish shun modern society,
this does not mean they dont have non-Amish or "English" friends and
acquaintances. Many Amish families work at non-Amish companies or conduct
business with those not involved in the Amish faith and community. They are
often considered good friends and are invited to the Christmas program at the Amish
school or for a meal at their homes. If the Amish community practices the
exchange of Christmas cards, it is usually for their non-Amish friends. These
cards are always made by hand and are often put together by the whole family.
Gifts of specially made cookies or candies are often given to friends and
acquaintances outside the Amish community.
Overall, the main focus of the Christmas season in the Amish
home is to honor and celebrate the Christ child. While much time is devoted to
prayer and scripture, spending time with the family in relaxation and laughter
is just as important to the Amish community.
Christmas in the Amish Home (part 1)