I didn’t mean to have a Not Quite Amish Christmas. Yes, I did choose to simplify. (This year we only purchased a few gifts for each person and instead focused our attention on spending time with one another.) What I didn’t expect is five days without electricity, Christmas included. Unlike the Amish, I am not prepared to live this type of lifestyle. I’m dependent on electricity for cooking, for lights, and for heat (not to mention all the gadgets we have around this house).
What I learned:
1. Decorator candles make good light makers, too.
2. Gingerbread cookies can be a yummy breakfast.
3. When you have nine people (ages 1–83) gathered in the same room for three days, keeping warm by the fireplace, you have some great conversations.
4. Toddlers, ages one and two years old, do not even notice there is not electricity when they have Christmas toys.
5. Playing charades by the light of a lantern is a blast.
6. Cleaning out the closets and donating to Goodwill is great . . . but for once, I’m glad for the large closet filled with blankets!
7. There are a few things that can make no electricity a little bit more challenging, and that is the stomach flu going around. UGH!
I also learned that even more important than our situation is our response to the situation. Even though we were uncomfortable, and even though this wasn’t the holiday we had planned, everyone kept a great attitude. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be stuck in a house with no power and the stomach flu with a family I love—who laugh and make the best of the situation—than being stuck in the most luxurious conditions with people with bad attitudes and conflict.
As Proverbs 17:22 says, “ A cheerful heart is good medicine.” And I’d like to add that it can warm you from the inside out, too!