Traditions around the world shift dramatically by culture and region, and holiday traditions in Amish Country, Ohio are no exception. Only two hours away from the hustle and bustle of big city Columbus, Amish Country, Ohio has their own way of celebrating the holidays which is just a bit simpler than Black Friday shopping, tree decorating, and filling stockings to the brim with treats and toys. Holiday traditions in Amish Country, Ohio are unique, just like everything else about the area. Here’s how the holidays are commemorated in Amish culture.
You won’t find a trace of Santa, angel figurines, nativity scenes, the Grinch, Rudolph, or any other commercial aspects of Christmas around Amish homes. In fact, you’ll see hardly any decorations at all. Most Amish adorn their homes with candles in the windows, greenery around the house, and maybe a hanging garland of this year’s Christmas cards.
Many people do enjoy making gifts for one another, but not to place under a tree. Often, a hearth is chosen for a family to place gifts leading up to Christmas. Like Thanksgiving, it is common for bigger families to spread Christmas celebrations out over Christmas and what is called Second Christmas (the next day). Both days are considered holidays and the only two days that children receive off from school. Cookies and caroling fill both days, while church likely doesn’t. If Christmas falls on a Sunday, church services may happen, but nothing special is planned in the way of church services on Christmas.
Make Your Own Holiday Traditions in Amish Country, Ohio
With so many ways to celebrate (Amish or not), here’s a curated list of the most interesting holiday traditions in Amish Country, Ohio (that you can join). For more ideas, specific dates and places, see the events page for the Visit Amish Country website.
Our Choices for Holiday Traditions in Amish Country, Ohio
- Boycott Black Friday sales and head out to Berlin’s Christmas Nativity Parade. Celebrate the start of the Christmas season with hundreds of others as live animals parade through town to Berlin’s stage on the square. Join in the candlelighting and carols that follow the notorious parade with no Santas to be found.
- Negate the Nutcracker and get tickets to Christmas in the country. Held at the Amish Country Theater, this show is sure to entertain featuring music from Nashville recording artist, John Schmid, Sugar Creek Bluegrass, Ken Groves, and more. Discover the stories behind some of the most popular Christmas carols and learn how to celebrate the holidays like the Amish.
- Warm the heart by candlelight at the Candlelightings in Roscoe Village. On multiple evenings throughout the season, join historic re-enactors in Roscoe Village as they celebrate Christmas from “their” time. The ceremony brings together a Civil War troubadour, a chaplain, a veteran and Abraham Lincoln in a special commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the last Christmas of the Civil War.
Whether you want to forego the fancy trimmings and celebrate the Amish way, or make new traditions like a holiday meal at Tarragon, you’ll find everything needed for a relaxing holiday at The Inn at Honey Run. Join us anytime throughout the holiday season to catch a breath of air and make new holiday traditions in Amish Country, Ohio.