today’s book: an amish christmas kitchen by jan drexler
Christmas is still 37 days away according to Google (I don’t do my own math, folks), BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!
So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s featured book is a collection of Amish Christmas novellas – and author Jan Drexler is here to share about Amish Christmas traditions!
AN AMISH CHRISTMAS KITCHEN
GENRE: Inspirational/Amish Christmas novella collection
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 3, 2019
As the weather grows cold and the nights grow long, the cheer and warmth of the Christmas season is one thing all readers can find comfort in. This collection from bestselling Amish fiction novelists Leslie Gould, Jan Drexler, and Kate Lloyd finds the beating heart at the center of the holiday and offers three novellas that celebrate family, faith, and especially the sights and smells of a bustling holiday kitchen.
Leslie Gould tells the story of how, in the wake of a heartbreaking loss, a young Amish woman finds unexpected comfort and hope in a yearly baking tradition surrounding the local Lancaster Christmas market. Jan Drexler offers a sweet tale of a shy Amish woman who decides to use her gift for sweets to woo a local Amish boy with her beloved Christmas cookies. And Kate Lloyd offers a heartwarming tale of a woman’s unexpected discovery about the truth of her past, and the warm and welcoming Amish family table she finds herself invited to on Christmas.
an amish christmas celebration
by Jan Drexler, author of An Amish Christmas Kitchen
If you’re a fan of Amish fiction, you’ve probably wondered how the Amish celebrate Christmas. Do they decorate with Christmas trees? Do the children eagerly anticipate Santa’s arrival? Is a trip to the mall or department store a “must” for the Christmas season?
Every Amish community is different, and the variations are even more distinct as you travel from the east to the mid-west and beyond. So, there is no one “right” way to celebrate Christmas if you’re Amish, but we can make some generalizations.
- What traditions do most communities share?
The Amish School Christmas program is one tradition that you find in almost every community. Amish schools are private Christian schools that education the children from 1st through 8th grade. The end of the fall semester is usually on Christmas Eve when the children give the program that they’ve been working hard on for their parents and neighbors. These programs remind me of something out of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, with recitations of memorized poems, readings of essays, and singing songs. Once the program, which can take an hour or so, is ended, the school door is locked, and everyone heads home for Christmas vacation.
- Do the Amish have Christmas trees?
The importance of celebrating Christ’s birth is at the center of an Amish family’s Christmas celebration. This means that you won’t find a Christmas tree or stockings in most Amish homes. You won’t find Christmas lights outlining the roof line or greenery hanging from the porch roof, either.
- How do the Amish decorate their homes?
Amish folks love to send cards and letters – much like we non-Amish did in the days before email and social media. Displaying these festive cards is one way many Amish enjoy decorating for the season. Some Amish communities also like to place candles in their windows, and New Order Amish families might even tuck a bit of greenery here or there in their homes.
- What about Santa Claus?
This is an interesting one. Some conservative Old Order Amish communities include Santa Claus as a part of the Christmas season. These communities are more heavily influenced by their German heritage than some of the more liberal or evangelical communities. But for the most part, Santa doesn’t have a place in an Amish Christmas celebration.
- What about gifts?
Amish families are normally quite large, and when you bring the extended family together for a holiday, you’re talking about a LOT of folks to buy presents for! But most Amish families draw names for gift giving. Children receive more toys than adults, of course. And the gifts are usually fun and practical. A child might receive a toy Noah’s Ark or a simple sewing kit. Adults might receive a new special dish (for women) or a much needed and appreciated tool (for men.) Grossdawdi and Grossmutti enjoy handmade gifts, especially from their grandchildren. An embroidered handkerchief or warm mittens from granddaughters, or a new wooden cutting board or a new ax handle from grandsons.
- When do the Amish celebrate Christmas?
This varies widely between communities. Many Amish celebrate December 25th as a day of fasting and worship to celebrate Jesus’ birth. After the morning chores are done, the family gathers to hear the Christmas story read from the Bible. The rest of the day is spent together with the family, playing games or doing a jigsaw puzzle.
The day after is called “Second Christmas,” and that is when the extended family gets together for a delicious meal and to exchange gifts. Other Amish communities exchange gifts on “Old Christmas,” January 6th instead.
And many Amish families celebrate in between those days, getting together with one side of the family, then another…sometimes all the way until February.
The most important part of the season for all of us, though, is the celebration of Christ’s birth. No matter how you wrap it, celebrate it, or decorate it, Christmas is a special time of year.
How do you celebrate the season?
Jan Drexler’s ancestors were among the first Amish immigrants in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. When she isn’t writing she spends much of her time satisfying her cross-stitch addiction or hiking and enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of more than thirty-six years.
She writes historical Amish fiction and is published by Revell and Love Inspired.
Other Authors In This Collection
Jan Drexler is offering one of my readers a print copy of An Amish Christmas Kitchen! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about An Amish Christmas Kitchen? How do you celebrate during the Christmas season?