Starting with today's post I will be working on answering the questions I received.
I am curious how you will be celebrating Christmas this year and how it differs from how you used to celebrate it while you were Amish.
While I was growing up Christmas was celebrated in a happy simple manner. We would get up a little extra early and the boys would go to the barn to help Daddy with the chores while I helped Mom prepare a special breakfast. Besides the usual fare we got to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, an orange, bacon, and cold cereal.
While Mom and I cleared the dishes away the boys would heap the wood box to beyond overflowing to make sure they wouldn't have to carry wood the rest of the day. Daddy would sweep the kitchen and somehow it seemed we all finished with our chores at the same time.
Daddy would get the Bible and read the Christmas story to us and then it was time for us children to go upstairs and wait while Mom and Daddy got our gifts ready. We usually had handmade gifts that we dug out of their hiding places during that time so we could take them downstairs with us. Once we had them carefully in a bag we would all sit on one of the beds and read or talk until Daddy called us to come downstairs.
The youngest always got to go first and we would enter the kitchen to find little piles of gifts at every one's place at the table. Each one covered with Mom's prettiest dish towels. After we sat down we would take turns looking to see what was hidden under those towels. There was always a plate filled with nuts and candy and sometimes fruits. There would often be a new shirt or dress and usually a book or two and maybe some other small gift. There were times when there was another bigger pile in the middle of the table that would then be shared by everyone, like a new board game or two and more books.
The afternoon would be spent reading and playing together and in the evening we would enjoy sitting around the kitchen stove while eating freshly popped popcorn and apples.
After LV and I got married we enjoyed a special breakfast and exchanging gifts before we joined the rest of my family for a big Christmas dinner, and an afternoon of laughter, visiting, and playing games.
Since leaving the Amish we continue having a special breakfast. Usually with at least twenty-five different things. After the dishes are cleared away and the house in order we will all take turns reading verses to the Christmas story before we open the gifts. We don't do the kitchen table towel thing though. We wrap our gifts and have a small Christmas tree. We still take turns opening the gifts while everyone watches and then spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying each others company. Games and books are still a big part of the day and if there is enough snow; sledding and building snowmen are also fun.
So yes, there is a small difference in how we celebrate but the best part is still the same. The simple joy of spending a happy, relaxing, fun filled day with our family.