I’ve learned quite a bit about the Amish culture since my first novel released in 2009. I’m thankful to have a dear Amish friend who answers my questions and shares story about her family. The Amish Christmas traditions are different from our Englisher (non-Amish) traditions.
In the Amish tradition, they don’t decorate a tree or hang stockings, and they don’t tell their children that Santa Claus brings gifts. When decorating their homes, the Amish may display a poinsettia or candles, but you won’t find any Christmas lights or wreaths.
The Amish celebrate First Christmas and Second Christmas. For the Amish, the holiday is about family and retelling the Christmas story, which they share on Christmas Eve. They received their gifts on Christmas morning, which is First Christmas. My friend arranges a Christmas table for her children with their names by each place setting and gifts on the plate. Children may receive a piece of fruit or homemade cookies and candies. They may also find small toys, such as a new doll, a toy truck, farm animals, or ice skates. Sometimes they receive clothes or a new robe. Older girls may get a piece of crystal or a dish, adding to their collection every year. The gifts are wrapped in newspaper or placed Christmas bag.
Adult gifts may include a homemade scarf, inspirational books, homemade blanket or towel, or a woven rug. My Amish friend visits extended family on Second Christmas, which is celebrated on Dec. 26, and the family members share a huge meal. The children have fun playing with their cousins. Grandparents give each child a small gift, such candy.
Each Amish family has its own traditions. Since the families are so large, they have to plan when to get together and some have their Christmas dinners as early as Thanksgiving.
My family and I also have traditions. We decorate the outside of our house, and my husband, Joe, enjoys buying new lights and decorations each year. We also decorate the inside of our home with an artificial tree, wreathes, and other small knick-knacks. We have three cats who always enjoy climbing the tree, so we have to be careful to not hang breakable ornaments on our tree. We normally wait until mid-December to decorate the inside and outside of the house.
We attend the afternoon service at church on Christmas Eve, and we open gifts Christmas morning. Normally my mother and I make something special to eat for breakfast Christmas morning. My sons enjoy a breakfast casserole that we prepare the night before and put in the oven the following morning. The house smells delicious while we open gifts.
Amy’s New Book Preview:
The Forgotten Recipe
After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.
In the first book in Amy Clipston’s new Amish Heirloom series, Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.
When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.
Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.
Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?
One person who leaves a comment will be picked to win a copy of The Forgotten Recipe! For an EXTRA chance share this post and leave a comment if you do.
Giveaway starts today Monday, December 21st, and ends Monday, December 28th, and is only open to US residents.
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Kauffman Amish Bakery series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her mother, husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit AmyClipston.com