The simple lifestyle of The Old Order Amish fascinates most of the outside world, people from all over travel to Pennsylvania and Ohio to catch just a glimpse of the Amish lifestyle and to purchase the handmade crafts and bake goods. Have you ever wondered what the holidays, such as Christmas, would be like in the average Old Order Community Amish household? Well climb aboard and we will travel to an Amish house for the Christmas holiday.
The Amish believe that Jesus Christ was born to be our Savior from sin, they don't celebrate His birth in the way that the outside world does. You won't find a Christmas tree with gifts under it or decorations in their yard or porch, but what you will find is a family that shows more love on an ordinary day than the outsiders do at Christmas. The Amish Christmas season is 365 days a year.
If there is one family in their community that needs any type of help, the whole community will be there to help them. The Amish men will travel from farm to farm announcing that they are having a frolic for someone that needs their fields plowed, crops brought in, or a barn that needs raising. The whole community will be there with their horses, tools or whatever the need is for the work frolic. If it's a job for the men, the women will all bring food to share with the workers and their families. If it's a frolic to canning, quilting, or baking the women and young girls will all be there with their canning jars, needles and thread or baking pans and ingredients need to complete their job. If canning, the fruit or meat is shared with all the families.
After the chores are completed and the evening meal if finished on Christmas Eve, the family will gather in the sitting room, or as we would say the living room where the father will read the Bible and often ask the children if there is a favorite story from the Bible that they would like for him to read. After the family time is over, the children will venture off by themselves to color a special picture or to make special cards for their parents and their friends, a tradition that the children love.
On Christmas morning, when we are all rushing to get gifts pasted out and opened, the Amish family will be doing chores just like any morning, but the women will be excited to be making their favorite dishes for dinner and maybe a special gift for family and friends that they plan to visit during the day. The children may get an extra orange or apple to eat on the buggy ride, which is a special treat.
Most of the outside world, and especially the children, will probably feel that the Amish children are missing out on one of the biggest holiday celebrations of the year, but in reality, the Amish feel that if you don't have the Lord, family and friends to celebrate each day of life with, you are the one that is missing out on a celebration every day not just at Christmas.