Do Amish Celebrate Christmas, and How?

A lot of people tend to ask, “Do the Amish celebrate Christmas”? Well, the short answer is yes, the Amish celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, there are a few differences between the way that we “English” celebrate Christmas and the way that the Amish do. 

I interviewed the founder of the Riegsecker Marketplace, Mel Riegsecker. Mel grew up Amish and gave me some insight into the traditions of the Amish culture around Christmastime.


Amish families will all have their own unique traditions and ways of celebrating Christmas. Some will do things such as eating meals together, such as breakfast or lunch. There is sometimes singing involved at some point as well. The main similarity between the Amish culture and our “English” culture is the spending time with family.

The Amish however focus a lot more on simply reflecting on the birth of Jesus, which is something that in our culture today a lot of people do not do. Their simplicity in the celebration of Christmas is something that I believe we could all learn from.

Gift Giving?

A lot of people wonder if the Amish give gifts, and yes, they often do! The Amish do often participate in some sort of gift giving, although it is again much simpler and less extravagant than the way that we do gift giving. They often give much smaller things and do not focus on the gift giving aspect of Christmas like we often do.


As mentioned before, all Amish families and communities differ in the ways that they celebrate Christmas. The Shipshewana Amish community has very few decorations, although they do decorate some. You will not find any Christmas trees, lights, or traces of Santa Claus. However, you may find some greenery and candles, possibly even battery powered candles, in their houses at Christmas time.

Old Christmas

The Amish communities also celebrate something that we do not, called “Old Christmas”, also known as “Epiphany”. When interviewing Mel Riegsecker, he said that the Amish community around here did not celebrate it when he was younger, but it is a newer celebrated Amish holiday. The “Old Christmas” holiday is thought to be the true day of Christmas in the Amish community, and also is a celebration of the 3 wise men bringing Jesus gifts.

The Amish love Christmastime and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and although there are a few differences, there are also a lot of similarities. Have a great Christmas and we hope to see you here at Blue Gate Hospitality soon!

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