What is Second Christmas?

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I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas with family and friends or however it is you choose to celebrate. Christmas at my house is usually a quiet affair. We live just far enough away from my family that winter travel can be tricky, so it’s usually just me, my husband, and my son. But to me, quiet time with my family, eating, opening presents, and watching Christmas movies and football is a terrific way to spend the holiday.

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This time of year I get asked plenty of questions about how the Amish celebrate Christmas and which days they celebrate. I can’t speak for Amish all across America, but I have talked with my Amish friends in Lancaster County about their holiday traditions.

Here’s what I know…

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They might not be as elaborate or numerous as the presents we exchange, but they give gifts to friends and family. I was told they prefer gift bags to wrapping paper and their presents tend to be useful rather than extravagant.

Members of an immediate family will exchange gifts with everyone—like a husband and wife will exchange gifts and buy presents for their children–but extended family may choose to draw names like my friend’s family does.

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Second Christmas seems to be one of the more confusing topics when it comes to Amish and holiday celebrations. I’m not sure why. But in order to help you understand Second Christmas, imagine the hobbits in Lord of the Rings and second breakfast. This is the same concept. Another breakfast, another Christmas. (BTW-I looked up second breakfast and Bavaria, Poland, and Hungary actually serve second breakfast! Love that idea!)

Amish families are so large it’s very difficult for them to visit everyone they would like to spend time with on Christmas Day. Second Christmas just gives them more time to visit and be with friends and family.

The children are out of school on Christmas and Second Christmas, then return the following day.

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Old Christmas can go by several names including Three Kings Day, Epiphany, Theophany, and El Día De Los Reyes. (It’s a big celebration among most Latin cultures.) Old Christmas is the last of the twelve days of Christmas and is considered the peak of the Christmas celebration in places like Mexico.

I’m not certain why this holiday has been tagged onto the Amish. I’m sure somewhere out there, a group of Amish celebrates Old Christmas and somehow it has been attributed to all.

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December 26 is Boxing Day in Canada, St. Stephens Day (or Day of the Wren) in Ireland, while Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Netherlands celebrate Second Christmas like the Amish. Many Americans will be out shopping today, getting those first after-Christmas deals. For me, twenty+ years working in retail cured me of wanting to shop when stores are busy. Besides, this day has another meaning for me. Today was Bernice, my grandmother’s, birthday. So today I like to spend a little time thinking about her and remembering all those special times. It’s a little like spending the day with family and time I truly cherish.

How about you? How do you manage to visit with friends and family all through the holiday season? Leave a comment below to be entered into this week’s drawing. I have three single copies of The Amish Christmas Sleigh still available.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Thanks for helping me name my Kish Valley doll. Grace received nearly 50% off the vote! So here she is everyone…Grace from Kish Valley!

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Are you ready for Christmas?

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Christmas is less than a week away! Can you believe it? And this is the last week for my Amish Christmas Sleigh giveaway.

I’m puttering around the house this week. Finishing up edits on Marrying Jonah and working on the new series. And making cookies. Must bake cookies.

Christmas cookies are a tradition at my house. Most probably because they are the family favorite. You know, the sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles. We love them so much we make them for other holidays too. Yes, I have made Fourth of July cookies, Easter cookies, and Back to School cookies!

Do you have a favorite food/cookie/other tradition at your house? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below telling us about your favorite Christmas tradition. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into this last drawing for two copies of the Amish Christmas Sleigh. That’s 2 copies–one for you and one for a friend. And once again, I’ll be drawing three names! Good luck everyone! Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Want to help me name my Amish doll from Big Valley? Here are the top names from the last blog. I chose the names that more than one person suggested. There were so many great names! I loved them all! Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful suggestions!

And since it’s Christmas, here’s a link to a video I found of Big Valley in the winter. I’m not much of a snow girl, but once again, the Valley is beautiful!

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Big Valley in the Fall

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Keeping in line with my current Big Valley theme, today I’ve posted a few pictures of the Valley in the Fall. Here’s how to find them:

On the MENU, click ALL THINGS AMISH > AMISH PHOTOS> THE AMISH OF KISH VALLEY (that’s the green one)>KISH VALLEY AUTUMN 2016. (Note: this is not a link, only instructions).

If you’ve been following this 6 week giveaway, then tell me what you think. Is Kish Valley prettier in Summer or Fall? If you’re joining us for the first time, simply tell us which photo is your favorite.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for one of three sets of The Amish Christmas Sleigh which includes my novella, A Mamm for Christmas.

Sets? you ask. Yes! If your name is drawn you’ll receive 2 autographed copies of the book–one for you and one to give to a friend. So don’t forget to leave your comment and as always, thanks for stopping by! ❤

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10 Things I’ve Learned About Kishacoquillas Valley

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This summer I got to travel to Kishacoquillas V alley and fell in love with the place! So much so that I decided to set a series there. That meant research. Here are 10 unique facts I learned about the Valley.

1)      It sits between 2 mountains–Jacks Mountain and Stone Mountain

2)      The buggies in the Valley are yellow, black, and brown and white.

3)      Men wear mostly blue shirts

4)      Men wear one diagonal suspender

5)      The women dress like the Lancaster Amish with the one piece apron that ties in the back

6)      The difference in buggy colors also signifies the three different Amish groups in the Valley– Nebraska Amish (white and brown buggies), Renno Amish, also called Peachey Amish (black buggies), and Byler Amish (yellow buggies)

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7)      Other names for Kishacoquillas Valley are Kish Valley and Big Valley

8)      The most common Amish last name in the Valley is Peachey

9)      They serve white church pickles (made with white cucumbers of course!)

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10) The Amish and Mennonites in the Valley share a cemetery. It has gravestones ranging from very plain to very elaborate.

I have pictures of all this and more here on Amy’s Amish Adventures. Simply click All Things Amish<Amish Photos<The Amish of PA Kish Valley< Kish Valley part 1 to see the slideshow.

My Kappy King Amish Mystery Series starts January 2018. (Yes, I know that’s a long ways off!). Aside from being set in Big Valley, this series has another unusual aspect: My protagonist is Amish! I’m very excited about this series and just as excited to share with you the pictures and interesting facts I learned while in Big Valley.

And the best part? This post is part of my Christmas Giveaway. How do you enter? Leave a comment below. That’s it! By leaving a comment you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing for one of three sets of The Amish Christmas Sleigh. That means three names will be drawn and three readers will receive 2 autographed copies of The Amish Christmas Sleigh which includes my Amish Christmas novella-A Mamm for Christmas. That’s one copy for you and one copy for a friend! Or two copies to give as Christmas gifts. Or, heck, I guess you could keep them both for yourself! Whatever makes you happy!

Have you ever read an Amish mystery? Did you like it? Do you want to read more? What was your favorite part?

Thanks for reading!

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Merry Christmas Giveaway

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Christmas? Wait…it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Well, Thanksgiving is a little over a week away and since it’s so late in the month, Christmas will be here before we know it. So that’s why I’m giving away three copies of The Christmas Sleigh, which includes my Paradise Christmas novella, A Mamm for Christmas as well as two more great holiday stories from Molly Jebber and Kelly Long. Let’s get into the Christmas spirit!

kish-valley-5-mkd-wmBut wait! There’s more! If you are chosen as one of the winners, then I’ll send you a second copy for you to gift to a friend! Yep, you read that right. One signed copy for you and another one to give to a friend.

So what do you have to do in order to qualify for the giveaway? Head over to my page dedicated to Kish Valley (aka Big Valley) and tell me what your favorite picture is there. Be sure to stay for the entire slide show. There are a few pictures of the infamous yellow buggies of the Valley.

The three winners will be chosen by random drawing at the end of each week (We’ll actually draw on Sunday and announce the winners on Monday morning.)

If you don’t win the first week, never fear, I’m giving away the three-plus three copies each week from now until Christmas. That’s 18 chances to win!

So go check out the pictures and leave me a comment as to which is your favorite. Thanks for stopping by, Merry (early) Christmas, and the best of luck to everyone!

How do you get to the page? Simply click All Things Amish<Amish Photos<The Amish of PA Kish Valley< Kish Valley part 1.

And feel free to poke around a little. There are a lot of great things to see here!

Thanks for reading!

Amy

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