An Amish Christmas
By Patricia Stephens
Those unfamiliar with Amish traditions may be surprised to learn they celebrate Christmas. Yes, it's a joyful time for them, but without the noise and frantic aspects familiar to many non-Amish.
According to DiscoverLancaster.com, there are no twinkling lights around the Amish house during the holidays other than flickers from the occasional candle and no decorations other than simple greenery. The Amish people are about gathering with friends and family and making homemade greeting cards, unique cookies, and candies to share with everyone.
In addition to sweets, Amish families will exchange small gifts. Children in Amish schools pick names and exchange simple presents. In addition, Amish families enjoy doing crafts together, and at Christmastime, they will often make homemade "stamped" cards.
Some sources mention the tradition of music, and many Amish go Christmas caroling. While most teens participate, it's common for groups of all ages to load up on wagons to visit local farms or nearby towns to share their lyrical message of Jesus and the spirit of the season.
Amish furniture, such as this dining room set and the larger set pictured above, come in various types of beautiful hard wood.
Both December 25 and 26 are holidays for the Amish people. A church service is held on Christmas day, and December 26 is set aside for relaxing and visiting.
Christmas dinner is a big deal for all families in America, including the Amish. Here are two recipes frequently found on an Amish dinner table during the holidays which you may wish to include on yours this year.
Amish Ginger Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses (made from ripe sugar cane)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
white or colored sugar, for decorating
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and 1 cup sugar until creamy.
3. Add egg and molasses; beat until combined.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the extra granulated sugar.
6. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet.
7. Bake for 7 – 9 minutes until barely turning brown.
8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet and then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies will set up as they cool. Makes 46 cookies.
Amish Peppermint Candy
1 (13oz) jar marshmallow fluff
1 1/4 box Confectionary sugar
3 Tbsp. Crisco (rounded)
3/4 tsp peppermint flavoring
Chocolate chips or bars for dipping.
1. Mix well and let stand overnight.
2. Roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate.
3. Allow to dry and serve.
Oak For Less and Amish Furniture Creations is a family-owned and operated furniture store in Mesa, Az and is a proud distributor of Amish-made furniture. We also offer custom options for most of the pieces offered on our site. In addition, we provide more material options to ensure that you bring home a beautiful product that will fit your interior or exterior spaces. You can visit us at our store at 1660 S. Alma School Rd., #100, Mesa, Arizona, to learn more about Amish furniture and custom furniture pieces. Or you can call us at (480) 336-2144. We are always happy to answer your questions.
Above photo of Amish horse and buggy in snow from flickr.com.