Friday, February 10, 2012

Amish Christians and Christmas

A while back I wrote about the book Amish Values by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  In her book, Ms. Fisher mentioned a blog called “A Joyful Chaos.”  It is written by a woman mothering young children and reminiscing on her own happy childhood in a close-knit Amish family.  It a beautiful blog, which I have enjoyed tremendously.  I recommend it highly.
However, for purposes of this blog and the recent themes I’ve been exploring, I particularly wanted to recommend an account the “Joyful Chaos” blogger shared of a typical Amish Christmas from her childhood.  The link below contains that post. 
Again, like the account in Little House on the Prairie, the celebration of Christmas in the blogger’s family was not just about gifts.  It was about spending time together with those you love. 
Personally, I like that emphasis.  It seems to better honor the reason we as Christ followers celebrate Christmas.  And in my opinion, the gift of time together is the best gift there is anyhow.  Happy memories last longer than material objects.
In her post, the “Joyful Chaos” blogger describes having no money such that the material gifts that were given at Christmas had to be made by hand with items already in her home.  When you have to make your own gifts, that certainly puts a limit on how many you give and how extravagant they can be.  Forcibly, material gifts become less important in that context. 
I’m not sure that our family will ever limit our gift giving entirely to handmade items.  But it is something to consider.  At the very least, giving homemade gifts is something we could incorporate more in the future.

Psalm 66:8

Bless our God, O peoples, give Him grateful thanks and make the voice of His praise be heard.

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