Christmas with Ex-Amish

Having a place to go-is a home. Having someone to love-is a family. Having both-is a blessing. ~Donna Hedges
What a blessed Christmas celebration with family and extended family!

Our daughter and son-in-love ~ Lynsey & Harvey ~ Josh, Sarah, and Monroe arrived at 6 PM for Christmas Eve dinner. Lasagna. Ham. Green Beans. Cottage cheese & homemade Applesauce (two Amish staples), followed by my homemade zucchini bread and brightly colored Christmas cookies. Other than desperately missing our daughter, Laura, who is overseas, it was a fun-filled - and fattening - meal. After eating we scrambled downstairs to our family room's Christmas tree.
Time to open gifts!
Josh is thrilled with tissue paper
It never ceases to amaze me how the simple things can entertain and amuse those raised Amish. Our guys were happy with simple toys, tissue paper, and silly picture-taking. Since Monroe loathes spiders, I gave him a "special" pet for Christmas. *wink*

"I didn't know what to get you," moaned Monroe looking forlorn at me. He handed me a wrapped box of candy. Chocolate's good! I opened his Christmas card to my husband and me.

Lynsey opens Harvey''s gift
Inside he penned, "To my English parents."

"Do you mean this?" I asked Monroe holding up the card.


Josh & Monroe model new hoodies
"That is a gift!," I replied smiling at him.

More pictures! Then we tidied up torn gift wrap and empty boxes.

Next we tuned into a family fave DVD, "Mr. Bean." Silly, I know but, it makes 'em laugh. Crammed together on the sofa, sharing blankets, and some sprawled out in chairs, we imitated in unison, "Bean!"

The doorbell rang. Our widowed neighbor accepted our invitation to stop by for fun and food. Some of us stayed upstairs with her to talk while others continued their chuckles at Mr. Bean downstairs.

It was late night when Sarah & Josh left first, followed by Lynsey & Harvey. Then my neighbor. Monroe fell asleep on our sofa. When he's asleep, he's practically comatose! It's nearly impossible to awaken him. I gently pulled a blanket over my "son," flipped off the lights, unplugged the Christmas tree, and crept upstairs to bed.

Bright and early Christmas morning I peeked down into the family room. Monroe, all 6-feet of him, still stretched out on my sofa, was checking his cell phone for missed calls and texts. I sat down by his feet. We chatted softly in those early moments warmed by candles and tree lights that threw color on the walls. Sharing some memories, laughs, and mother/son chat, I mused, What a blessed way to begin Christmas day!

Paul - my husband - got up and brewed a pot of welcomed coffee. The three of us sipped steaming coffee until Monroe left for his apartment.

My husband and I lazed around most of the morning, slowly gathering our Christmas Day munchies contributions for Lynsey & Harvey's home. My mother arrived from out-of-town and the three of us caravaned over to Lynsey's to eat and open more gifts. We played with the dogs and watched TV.

Within hours, our younger daughter Laura Skyped from her overseas country. While talking with Laura, the front door opened and the dogs barked to announce Josh, Monroe, Sarah, Noah, Eli, and another Harvey - who'd left the Amish just three months prior. This Harvey ~ twenty-one-years-old was an Amish Church member since seventeen ~ was shunned for leaving the Amish. He was family-less.

Noah, Josh, Sarah being goofy, and her younger brother Monroe
We broke out the Trouble and Phase 10 game and the ex-Amish - cousins to each other - were drawn in like magnets to metal. They love playing games! And they're fiercely competitive. The noisy house pulsated with chaos, jokes, occasional Amish words, winning cheers, and losing jeers. Satisfying fun!

Our Nixon tradition is - I make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas Day. I did and we scarfed 'em down.

Dear readers, I encourage you to consider opening your home to the homeless ~ those who've left their Amish families. 

God tells us He is the "Father to the fatherless," and expects us to be  His hands and feet. James 1:27 states that pure and faultless religion is to care for orphans and widows.

Ex-Amish need a welcoming home anytime but, especially for the holidays. And I can promise you loads of laughs, learning, and memories.

*Wonder why I never use last names

(C)Copyright 2014, Brenda Nixon.


  1. Awwww. That sounds like a wonderful time! How did this Chsitmas compare to the amish Christmases hey used to have?

    1. Thank you. I just posted an Amish Christmas so you can read about the Christmases they used to have.

  2. What a beautiful account of your Christmas! Especially to be adopted as parents...again. That has to be the best gift of all. In this day and age where everything has become so commercialized, it is wonderful to see how you all celebrated, in the true meaning of Christmas, especially for all of your "kids." May we answer to the call of opening our homes in the way that you have. Truly a blessing.

  3. I would love to open our home to Amish or Ex-Amish people especially during the holidays. How can someone find Amish people to invite? We live in Florida about an hour from Pinecraft Amish Community(Sarasota). Thanks

    1. I love your heart Wen Dee. Here are a couple ideas for getting into contact with ex-Amish: call local churches to inquire of ex-Amish in their congregation or ask your friends and co-workers if they know of any. With us, once we became acquainted with some formers, it was like a domino effect.