There are variations between each order and diversity among the settlements within an order. Confusing, eh? Outsiders get mixed up when learning about this 400-year-old culture. This blog has and always will apply to the strictest orders within the Amish discipline spectrum - Old and Swartzentruber.
In my experience with our guys and gals who've left these two orders, here are some things I've learned about their Christmas customs:
- No decorations inside/outside the home
- No Christmas tree
- No Santa Clause stories
- No gifts are exchanged (Sarah's parents put candy in her shoes) but, this is changing within some settlements
- Christmas morning is a fasting time
- "Scholars" - school kids - are off for a brief break (varies by settlement)
- Family comes together for a sumptuous, home cooked meal ending with pies and desserts, enjoy a day at home, kids play in the barn or outdoors
- Because of many farm responsibilities and animal care, chores must continue
- They also recognize Olde Christmas, January 6
- The Swartzentruber Ordnung (rules) prohibits sex between married couples on Christmas and Olde Christmas, January 6th (I'll blog about Olde Christmas in January). Click to Tweet that
Many countries and cultures vary in how they celebrate Christmas. Do you have a particular or a peculiar tradition? Leave your comments below. Thanks for reading and have a meaningful, blessed season!
(c) Copyright 2013, Brenda Nixon.