Every Christmas I try to present here a simple look at the Amish Christmas. Far removed from our commercial celebrations filled with trees, lights, and Santa Claus, the focus is on religious meaning, family, and community. For all of us, Christmas is also a time to think about those who are less fortunate. One of my favorite stories concerns a “deed of kindness” in an Amish community in Wisconsin at Christmastime. It is reprinted from the book THE AMISH IN THEIR OWN WORDS…
It was around Christmas and our family had just retired for the night. We were awakened out of our sleep by the sound of seemingly heavenly music outside the house. We got up and. after coming to our senses, realized it was the community’s young folks caroling for us. I was with the young folks at the time and began to question why they hadn’t included me. I felt very sorry for myself.
After they left as quietly as they had come, one of us opened the door to peer out into the night, stumbling over a large tub and containers. What was it? Upon investigating, we discovered them filled with ground meat. We had suffered a fire loss and here they had assembled at one of the neighbors to work up a beef for us. We felt unworthy of such a gift but filled with gratitude at the thoughtfulness.
Needless to say, I was very ashamed over the first feelings I had toward the young folks.
Sometimes it takes a jolt like this, a deed of genuine kindness, to waken us to our real sense of values and make us appreciate our blessings more.
Christmas continues to be a time to reflect on our blessings, think of others, and brighten the lives of those for whom Christmas may be a difficult time, such as the family in the above story. Just as small drops of water from a sprinkling can will help a plant to grow strong and healthy, so do our little acts of kindness spread the spirit of Christmas, as we discover that people who we may call “strangers” can easily become our friends.
From all of us at Amish Country News, our sincere wishes for a joyous holiday season!