A brief look at Amish Christmas traditions


By Kevin Williams

The Amish Cook

Gloria took the week after Thanksgiving off from writing the column, but she will be back next week. As her editor and a writer myself, I can attest to the rigors of writing a weekly column. She and I joke often that the best way to make a weekly fly-by is to write a weekly column!

Meanwhile, a brief look at Amish Christmas traditions: Amish Christmas traditions vary greatly from community to community. Most Amish do not teach their children about Santa Claus unless it is as a general, fun way. You won’t find Amish homes lit with Christmas lights (most don’t have electricity anyway) and Christmas trees in Amish homes are a rarity.

You will find mantels adorned with colorful Christmas cards (often homemade) and gifts are often exchanged for the holiday, but usually gifts are simpler and more practical than what is found in non-Amish homes.

And, of course, one way many Amish do express their joy for Christmas is through baked goods: candies, breads, and coffeecakes that celebrate the season. This recipe is from Gloria, for homemade Christmas mints!


4 ounces cream cheese softened

1 pound powdered sugar

a few drops of peppermint oil or two teaspoons of peppermint extract

several drops food coloring of your choice (opt)

melted chocolate for dipping

Mix cream cheese which has been softened to room temperature, with powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add peppermint flavoring and coloring.

Now roll into small balls and dip into melted chocolate OR roll in granulated sugar. If desired, the sugar-coated version may be pressed into molds. They will not need to dry in molds, as they will keep the shape as soon as formed. Chill and enjoy!

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