Want to learn more about Amish traditions, culture, and heritage? Want to see how The Amish Village changes over the seasons? We pack our blog with helpful articles all about the Amish culture and some news about The Amish Village.
How do the Amish Celebrate Christmas?
At this time of year, our thoughts shift to the holiday activities, family plans, and customs and traditions that make our celebrations special. It’s also a time when many families plan getaways to experience holiday events and activities in Lancaster County. And, when you’re in Amish Country, it’s only natural to wonder if and how the Plain Community celebrates Christmas.
In this blog, we explore the customs and traditions of Lancaster County’s Amish community and answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our Guests. You might be surprised at how similar Amish Christmas traditions are to yours.
Do the Amish Celebrate Christmas?
Yes. The Amish in Lancaster, Pennsylvania celebrate Christmas. As you might expect though, Amish Christmas celebrations are done in a much simpler way. You won’t find Amish families visiting Santa Claus, decorating their homes with Christmas lights, or putting an elf on their shelf. Rather, Christmas is focused on the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Do the Amish eat a special Christmas Dinner?
Yes. The Amish do prepare Christmas dinner. The menu can differ from family to family but like you, some of the most common dishes are turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, fruits, and plenty of desserts. The Amish make plenty of homemade cookies and candies, and some include a Christmas pudding (a cream cheese mixture, layered with red and green gelatin) for Christmas dinner.
But not all Amish celebrate with a meal on Christmas day. Some Amish devote December 25th to fasting and prayer. In those instances, they would visit family and do their Christmas feast the following day, on what is known as “Second Christmas.”
Do the Amish put up a Christmas Tree?
No. You will not find a beautifully decorated Christmas tree or other lavish decorations inside an Amish home. Although, you might see Amish men selling Christmas trees and homemade Christmas wreaths while you are visiting Lancaster County. It is customary for Amish families to decorate their homes with greens and candles.
Do the Amish exchange gifts for Christmas?
Yes. While some Amish families give gifts, this is not something that is expected and not nearly as commercialized as what you might experience among “English” families. In the Amish community, gift-giving is more common among school-age children where they pick names and exchange small, practical gifts such as books, needlepoint kits, writing paper, and gloves.
Do the Amish send Christmas Cards?
Yes. Creating handmade “stamped” Christmas cards is a popular tradition among the Amish and is not just for the kids. The Amish often craft and send cards to their non-Amish friends that are outside of the community.
Bring a little of the Amish to your Christmas Celebrations
You can bring a little of the Amish to your Christmas celebration by giving the gift of Amish goods to those hard-to-shop-for individuals on your list or by sharing homemade baked goods and candies at your dinner table. You can find many Amish-made gifts and goodies at Amish Village. Need a gift idea? Give the gift of an experience to visit The Amish Village on a future date and take a Farmhouse and Village Tour or take in the sights and enjoy learning about the Amish on one of our 90-minute bus tours.