The holiday spirit is alive in Ohio Amish country, where friends and family come to celebrate the joy of togetherness. Here, our simple lifestyle and shared cultural traditions become a reminder of what truly matters during this festive season.
As the holidays approach, many visitors to our area wonder if and how the Amish celebrate Christmas.
In Ohio Amish Country, Christmas is a cherished religious holiday that is marked by gathering with family and exchanging heartfelt gifts. In fact, many Amish families enjoy two Christmas celebrations - one on Dec. 25 and then “Old Christmas” on Jan 6. (This was the traditional date of Christmas before the adoption of our modern calendar.)
Our community’s reverence for this special time of year has made it a haven for those seeking a holiday retreat away from the big city bustle. Here are three ways you can take your inspiration from Amish Christmas traditions to make your season merry and bright.
1. Give A Simple Gift
Gift-giving is a meaningful practice for the Amish, who favor sharing homemade items. These gifts often showcase skills handed down through the generations such as quilting, baking, and woodworking. Rather than electronics, children may receive games that encourage spending time together.
If you’re looking for artisan-inspired gifts, Ohio Amish Country offers everything from crafts and home accents to leather goods and fine wood furniture.
Find handcrafted stoneware at Old World Polish Pottery, or pick up something for your favorite woodworker at Keim Home Center. And for heartwarming home goods, be sure to check out Sheiyah Market, bfearless. at HOME, and Dutch Valley Gifts.
2. Share A Meal
Amish Christmas dinners are legendary for their abundance. But more than just bountiful homemade food, they reflect a commitment to family and community. Gathering around a festive spread featuring traditional family recipes is a perfect representation of our community’s values.
Amish families typically enjoy familiar favorites such as roast turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, casserole, homemade bread, and jams. Cookies and pies will almost certainly be on the menu along with eggnog and cider.
Ohio Amish Country is also legendary for hearty homestyle meals as well as contemporary foodie fare. Enjoy traditional Amish cooking at Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen or pick up some Trail Bologna and Guggisberg Swiss Cheese for the perfect holiday spread.
The Cider Press in Millersburg offers both classic and contemporary creations that emphasize local ingredients. And for premier fine dining, the Tarragon at The Inn at Honey Run serves up artfully-designed house-made selections.
3. Gather Together
It’s no surprise that spending time with loved ones is central to Amish Christmas celebrations. Extended families reconnect, children perform in school Christmas plays, and neighbors exchange home baked goods. Christmas gatherings may span several days as large families make time to visit one another.
Whether you want to gather your loved ones for a day of shopping, food, or fun, Ohio Amish Country is your destination for a variety of unique family-friendly experiences.
Visit a brick roundhouse featuring the largest private collection of steam locomotives in the world, or check out the many museums and antique shops that offer a glimpse into local history.
Plan your holiday trip to Amish Country
No matter where you find your inspiration in Amish Country, we hope our Christmas traditions let you carry the spirit of simplicity, togetherness, and genuine connection into your own celebrations.
If you’re planning a weekend excursion or extended family getaway, we’ve made it easy to find the perfect place to stay. With everything from modern hotels to secluded cabins, our lodging options can accommodate families of all sizes.
From all of us in Ohio Amish Country, may this holiday season be a celebration of the things that truly matter – family, friendship, and sharing meaningful moments with those you hold dear.