Gloria’s Amish Christmas in Ohio


Christmas is rounding the corner, ready or not!

What does Christmas mean to you? What is the part you enjoy the most?

As I think about Christmas, I have many things flip through my head.

Then the question comes up, “Do the Amish celebrate Christmas? If so, how?”

OK, we do celebrate the birth of Jesus, though Christmas trees and Santa are not a part of it. Funny as that may sound to you, I never felt deprived, simply because it was never a part of my culture. Not that I’m implying that we have a perfect balance, it’s just our way of practicing it.

Perhaps the most exciting Christmas I remember was when I was a little girl, probably four or five years old. We were at Grandpas’ house in Holmes County, Ohio; I hadn’t expected them to buy a gift for me. I was thrilled when they presented a gift-wrapped package for me to open.

To this day, I still have the little elephant-shaped piano, and my children now enjoy it! Next are the memories of traveling to back to Ohio for Christmas after our move to from Ohio to Illinois when I was six.

Etched in my mind once more is Grandma, who always warmly welcomed us back to Ohio and had good food waiting and gifts for everyone, which she sometimes gave labeled with each person’s name or planned a game to determine who would be paired up with what gifts.

Then there were all the good times I spent with my many cousins on Dad’s side. We always had a blast as we spent time playing games or chatting with aunts and uncles.

On some occasions, a bunch of us would spend the night at a relative’s house. I chuckle as I remember the night at Aunt Edna’s house when seven of us girls slept in a four-person tent. We all crammed in, thankful for extra body heat.

We all loved it, the following morning I recall having some frost on my scarf as I was the last one in the row, right next to the chilly sides of the tent.

Ah, the vigor of youth; amazing how a person doesn’t mind and even relishes stepping out of their comfort zone for some added adventure!

As I think back over those memories, I just blink and wonder what happened. It is now up to me to show love and tenderness to my children and those around me. May the Lord direct my every step.

I was motivated this morning by Daniel’s suggestion for a goal for this Christmas. His thought was that for Christmas this year why not make a point of reaching out to those who do not have family or friends to chum with this holiday season.

No doubt there are many more folks in that situation than I know of or could ever reach, but then, even touching only one person’s life could make all the difference in their sad or lonely hearts as the face the holidays that may also have been a dread to them.

You know that reminds me of what another lady once said, she made the remark that she likes to ask God to show her what she can do for whom.

That’s it; God knows the need, if we ask, He’ll connect us with the needs that we could meet.

We do not have definite plans for Christmas day just yet. We would have liked to spend it with family in Ohio but are not sure if it will work or not. At any rate, we’ll make the most of what will work out.

A special thanks to all of you this holiday season for all your love and support, and may you be blessed as you reach out to that’ someone’ this Christmas season!

I’ll wind up with a recipe my mom would sometimes make for us on special occasions. It is a simple recipe, ideal for any Christmas gathering … it feeds a crowd, easily 20 – 25 people, and is my grandmother’s recipe. Dressing isn’t just for Thanksgiving, it is great for any holiday get together!

1 loaf of bread, cubed

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup potatoes, diced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, cut fine

5 eggs

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon chicken base

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion salt

Boil carrots and potatoes together until tender. Then, in a large kettle toast bread cubes in butter until crisp. Dump bread cubes into a large bowl. Add carrots and onions and rest of the ingredients. Beat eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Mix well and add to the rest. Put into a large roaster and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or fry on top of the stove. Serves 20-25 people.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

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