A Not Quite Amish Experience
I didn’t mean to have a Not Quite Amish Christmas last year. Yes, I did choose to simplify. (This year we only purchased a few gifts for each person and instead focused our attention on spending time with one another.) What I didn’t expect is five days without electricity, Christmas included. Unlike the Amish, I am not prepared to live this type of lifestyle. I’m dependent on electricity for cooking, for lights, and for heat (not to mention all the gadgets we have around this house).
What I learned:
- Decorator candles make good light makers, too.
- Gingerbread cookies can be a yummy breakfast.
- When you have nine people (ages 1–83) gathered in the same room for three days, keeping warm by the fireplace, you have some great conversations.
- Toddlers, ages one and two years old, do not even notice there is not electricity when they have Christmas toys.
- Playing charades by the light of a lantern is a blast.
- Cleaning out the closets and donating to Goodwill is great . . . but for once, I’m glad for the large closet filled with blankets!
- There are a few things that can make no electricity a little bit more challenging, and that is the stomach flu going around. UGH!
I also learned that even more important than our situation is our response to the situation. Even though we were uncomfortable, and even though this wasn’t the holiday we had planned, everyone kept a great attitude. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be stuck in a house with no power and the stomach flu with a family I love—who laugh and make the best of the situation—than being stuck in the most luxurious conditions with people with bad attitudes and conflict.
As Proverbs 17:22 says, “ A cheerful heart is good medicine.” And I’d like to add that it can warm you from the inside out, too!
12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Day 12
I’m celebrating Christmas with my favorite blog readers by giving away a different book pack each day! Today’s book pack is the Fiction Pack, which includes: Sweet September, Songbird Under a German Moon, and Love Finds You in Glacier Bay. Winners will be announced on my blog on Christmas day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I remember a lovely snowy hayride with friends many years ago with hot chocolate drinks afterward. I still remember and miss those who are now on the other side enjoying the splendor of Heaven.
Sandy Harrox says
I got the stomach flu just in time for Christmas! Not letting it get me down! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Kerry M. says
When I was little I remember my dad coming home on Christmas Eve after a 6 month deployment. It was the best Christmas!
Deanna S says
The whole family was together! Not so easy to do now that they are all grown…
Deborah K says
I can’t quite imagine Christmas without electricity but do remember the 10 days without power in Guam. Power came back on at midnight the morning of Christmas day. Merry Christmas,
Many good memories. One I like to remember often is when we had to cut off a piece of one of our own pine trees for our Christmas tree. It was small, but still very special! 🙂
Robin in NC says
I will never forget the Christmas I woke up with scarlet fever!! Not very Merry for a young girl.
Ruth Hill says
I once stayed up all night and made a wonderful Christmas tree for my parents.
Gayle Pace says
I will never forget being pregnant and having the mumps. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL
Christy Maurer says
I’ve had many memorable Christmases. This one will be the hardest as it is the first without my husband.
Kimberly Mayberry says
I miss my Christmas Eve’s with my Grandma. We used to make Haluski, cheese and potato perogies, and stuffed cabbage rolls for Christmas Eve dinner. Those were the BEST!
Sarah K says
My most memorable Christmas was probably 2008 – the year my now husband and I started dating. Separated by 3,000 miles, he shipped my gift to me, and even got my dad in on it! He got me a rose – the first I’d received from a boy, wrote a letter than the postman hand delivered on Christmas day, and sent me a cute teddy bear we had seen at the store a few weeks earlier. Turns out, he hid the bear at the store so no one would buy him. It was awesome!
Amy Bateman says
I have many memories of my brothers coming into the bedroom I shared with my sisters early Christmas morning. We would talk and decide if it was too early to wake Mom and Dad or if we’d be safe to wake them up to get Christmas morning started. I also have fond memories of gathering with extended family at my grandparent’s house for an evening of singing Christmas carols together. Other years we went caroling in the snowy cold to all of our neighbors and finished with hot cocoa at Grandma & Grandpa’s.
Mom has Alzheimer’s and is fading, we know this may be the last Christmas she remembers us . . . so we have been remembering Christmas’s past.Dad was a pastor of a rather large church 2-3,000 at the end, so our Christmas Eve was at church at 4, singing at 5, quick break w/snack or dinner, back at 7 to sing again, home to eat dessert and open one gift then Dad went back at 9:45 for 10 p.m. communion and we went to the 11 p.m. candlelight service. Then a 10 a.m. Christmas Day service! It was busy but it was all I knew! We lived in the parsonage across the church. One of my favorites was when we did the Christmas dash and I so wanted to bring my new doggie to the 11 p.m. service . . . mom said no. I was 14 so, during the last hymn I ran home and brought Tina, a tiny white toy poodle into the lobby greeting all at the end of the service then brought her into the sanctuary! Told mom she wanted to see inside our church for Christmas! Mom wasn’t mad . . . thankfully! Also mom always had a puzzle out for us, really her, to “de-stress” during Advent. One year we did a golf course (my brother’s favorite sport) and a piece was lost. I think mom kept the piece till Christmas because she wanted everyone to look for the piece in the puzzle pieces and it miraculously showed up on Christmas Day1!!! : ) So blessed.
My most memorable Christmas was my daughter’s first christmas.
Connie R. says
Hmm…my most memorable Christmas….probably my first Christmas as a parent!
Happy Holidays…My dad was working three jobs, when I was eight years old.
I wanted nothing more than a Chatty Cathy Doll. My two older siblings told me not to get my hopes up too high.
On Christmas morning, while it was still dark outside, I had to take a peek, at the
Christmas tree. There she was…Chatty Cathy just waiting for me to play with her!
I went back to bed and anxiously waited for the rest of my family to celebrate Christmas.
Many thanks, Cindi
Sarah Stewart says
This year, with my only niece who is 6 months old. Very fun to see her excitement!
Sharon Miller says
Most memorable Christmas experience was with my side of the family, opening Christmas gifts around the coffee table full of lighted candles and the wrapping paper caught on fire! Everyone scrambled and got the fire out.
Hope I win at least one of the Days of Christmas giveaways. I enjoy your books. Thanks for the contest. See you tomorrow in the winner’s list! Merry Christmas! sharon, CA
neljo mullins says
My favorite Christmas was when i was six. My parents had Santa to come deliver presents to my cousins and i.
barbara corbitt says
when i was seven and got a chatty cathy doll for christmas. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori P says
Well it was the most memorable not necessarily the best when all of my brothers, my sister and I had the flu. We were so sick and our parents were excited for us to open our gifts. We woke up when our father woke us up. Went to open gifts and then each of us headed back to bed. It also was the same year we had a brand new puppy in our home that got out in the middle of the night and headed straight to the LR and all of the presents 🙂
Lisa Cowell says
Maybe not the most memorable, but the happiest Christmas was my daughter’s first Christmas. It was a miracle for her to be alive.
Sue Brandes says
Going to my grandpa’s farm for Christmas. I would get to see him and all my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.
Sue Brandes says
Merry Christmas to you.
Cathy Thomas says
I have spent Christmas’s with out electricity and it was great spending more family time together. We cooked on the woodstove in the basement. I remember brining in buckets of snow to melt just to flush toilets. I’m not in a rush to repeat though.
Linda Marie Finn says
Today watching my children sled the back hill to the house ! and the warmeth of the wood fire. Being at my grandparents farm and sharing all that food with family.
Tammy Cordell Hudson says
The best memorie I have of Christmas. Christmas Eve 6 Years ago we went to spend time and give presents at my dad.
We had a great time lots of laughter and just enjoining fellowship with my dad. We did not know that was the last time we would see him. He died on New Years day. I will never forget the good time we had with my dad that day.
Susan Fletcher says
Most memorable Christmas – since I am sitting here alone on Christmas Eve, I would have to say all the Christmases I was able to enjoy with my late husband of 25 years were the best! Every Christmas since his death has been hard, even though I am very thankful for my memories and know that Jesus is the reason for the season. Still, it’s hard being alone without him since we didn’t have children.
patricia shaffery says
my most memorable Christmas is when I didn’t have to work and all of my kids were home with me.
Melanie Pike says
We had an ice storm back in March 1991, when my husband’s family came and stayed with us (his parents, unmarried sister, married sister and her 2 young kids–her husband was away on a business trip) because we were the only ones who didn’t lose power. I can’t imagine going through it in the wintertime because we have no fireplace. I used to imagine it though, believing that I was born in the wrong century! I wanted to live on a farm, own horses, do all those “fun” things… 😉 Merry Christmas!
My first Christmas in America after immigrating from Germany when the neighbors were ready to call the fire dept. because we had REAL lit candles on the tree.
Marlyce Hammen-Suter says
My most memorable Christmas experience was giving my parents a pair of baby shoes to hang on the Christmas tree to let them know that they were going to be grandparents. My Mom’s face was priceless when she opened the little box with the shoes that said “Baby Suter” “July, 1994”.
Debbie B. says
my most memorable christmas was when I was a teen. I went to the garage and hanging out with my dad. I always looked at what he was making because he was a woodworker and always made things for christmas presents, I saw a desk he had made with a tag on it that said to mom from dad and I said I thought she would really like it. we talked about it for awhile and on Christmas morning it was under the tree with a tag that said to Debbie from dad. And then there is the time when I had saved all my change and brought it all year to the shop and dad gave me dollars for it and when it came time to go shopping for presents I went to the shop and while talking to my dad my uncle who was stoking the
coal stove to warm the garage looked up when I asked where the envelope was that I had sat on the table and he said o I just threw it in the stove with the other garbage. I told him what was in it and he gave me the money to make up for it much later to teach me a lesson. Merry Christmas to you and your family…
theresa keeling says
watching my kids check out there stockings and it had a piece of [real] coal in it. Under the tree was full of presents and here 4 kids crying because of the coal they wont get any thing for Christmas.didn’t pull that one again
Jane Smith says
Julie McDonough says
The year I got an Easy Bake Oven that I wanted so bad!
Denise S. says
Seeing my grandson open his presents on his first Christmas. NOw I can not miss a christmas without seeing him open them.
Every Christmas my grandparents were able to share Christmas with us. 🙂
Jan Hall says
The first Christmas when my husband and I were in Germany was the first Christmas I had spent away from my family. My husband and I worked so that others could spend time with friends or family. One of our friends brought Christmas dinner to us. The dressing was more like croutons instead of dressing. Very different. Good but different.
Jackie McNutt says
The first Christmas with my first child 45 years ago , and the first Christmas with my first grandchild 20 years ago
Jenny Zrubek says
I too have the flu bug this year at Christmas, but it has helped me slow down and take things easier. It has helped me let others help out too. Merry Christmas! I’d love to win any book you’ve written! Hugs! Jenny
Bonnie Traher says
All the Christmases when my sons were smaller.
Linda D. McFarland says
One year we had no electricity at Christmas & had to depend on candles & a fireplace. Dinner guests weren’t able to make the trip in but it was still a special time with my husband & my mom. No stomach flu but we made memories! Merry Christmas…Linda
My most memorable Christmas experiences are our young adult daughter’s birth on Dec. 1st a number of years ago and our first grandchild’s birth one week ago on Dec. 17.
Awww, great stories….
Christine L. says
The year a huge storm knocked out the power for more than a day … THAT was memorable with a houseful of relatives!