A Not Quite Amish Experience

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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!

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Tricia Goyer (77 Posts)

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia's co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.


Comments

  1. mandyjhoffman says:

    Awe…sorry you were sick, but ti does sound like a wonderful Christmas despite the stomach bug.

  2. I loved this line, Tricia: “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.”

    It made me think, “If I were in the same position, would I see the situation as a good thing and as a way or build relationships with my family, or would I be there with a bad attitude and complaining about my lack of power?” Thanks for challenging me.

  3. Aww, I am sorry about the stomach bug. But the blankets, conversations, little ones with toys, candles, and gingerbread cookies sound wonderful! And being with family is awesome!

  4. chris granville says:

    Tricia Im so sorry you had the stomach bug but you truly found a way to make memories You learned to make do with what you had God bless you Chris Granville

  5. Hope you get well soon! I have a question about the no electricity. We have a well with underground electric pump for our water source. How do the Amish get their water to the house? I assume it would be with the help of a hand pump or windmills.

    We have three people in our one hundred year old home in the country, we have all electric even with three space heaters and electric blankets to ward off the cold our electric bill this month was still only $114. Glad I don’t live in the city.

    • It really depends, but often they use generators to pump water as well as other methods that don’t require electricity, like a gravity flow pump into the house. Many times their houses look similar to ours until it gets to be nighttime. They will use propane lights, propane stoves etc. in many communities.

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