Hello ATPT peeps! Welcome to the Harlequin’s Naughty or Nice Winter Blog Tour! I’m excited to be hosting a stop on this awesome event! There are HUGE and FAB prizes to be won! Be sure to scroll down to enter after you’ve checked out the fun guest post from author Marta Perry! Marta’s going to tell us about some Amish Christmas Traditions! Make sure you follow along with the tour and visit the previous stops and future stops for some great content from each of the authors participating in this fun tour! Join us for a little sugar, spice and everything nice throughout the month of November! Find the schedule here → http://bit.ly/1kyAkti
Amish Christmas Traditions by Marta Perry
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SANTA
What would Christmas be without Santa? If you visit an Amish community during the holiday season, you’ll learn that Christmas can be just as happy and perhaps more meaningful without some of the things we English consider indispensable to the holiday, such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus and mountains of gifts.
Christmas is one of the most important celebrations in the Amish year, so important that it’s actually observed by some Amish three times: Christmas Day, Second Christmas and Old Christmas. The holiday falls on December 25, and it’s the day when the miracle of Christ’s birth is usually celebrated with the immediate family. The day after Christmas, known as Second Christmas, is a day for celebrating with the extended family—a joyful and large event where there might be more than fifty people in attendance! And Old Christmas, on January 6 or Epiphany, is a more solemn and religious day.
But what about the Christmas trees and Santa? No, you won’t find those, although other traditions vary from one place to another. Here in Pennsylvania, where the Pennsylvania Dutch (German) influence is strong, you’re likely to find more Christmas decorations, such as candles in the window, doorways and windows draped with strings of popcorn, and perhaps greenery on the mantelpiece and tables.
A strong tradition in Pennsylvania Amish communities is that of the putz, or manger scene. If you visit the Pennsylvanian towns of Bethlehem or Lititz during the season, you’ll find beautiful, elaborate manger scenes. The typical Amish putz is much simpler, using clay or wooden figures and possibly a small stable. Some families embellish the scene with natural materials like straw and greenery, but its purpose is to teach, not to decorate. Using the figures, the children of the house can tell the Christmas story over and over again in the days leading up to Christmas.
Gift giving is a part of the Amish Christmas, but it bears little resemblance to the avalanche of gifts in the typical American household. The presents are often handmade and generally something that is useful. Younger children often receive one toy from their parents, while other gifts might be handmade clothing, cloth dolls or wooden toys crafted with love.
The focus of Amish Christmas celebration, as of all Amish life, is faith and family. Gathered around a groaning table spread with roast chicken, all the trimmings and an endless array of breads, cakes, cookies and homemade candy, the family celebrates Christmas together with gratitude to God for His amazing gift.
Title: When Secrets Strike by Marta Perry
Series: House of Secrets, #2
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: October 27, 2015
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In Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, a community once united must suspect one of their own
Amish quilter Sarah Bitler’s dreams no longer feature a husband and family. Instead, she searches for success in the quilt shop within Blackburn House, a place once tarnished with deadly secrets. She refuses to let the past influence her future…until an ominous fire forces them to collide.
Firefighter Aaron King was the first to touch Sarah’s heart—and the first to break it. Now a widower and father of two small girls, his return to Sarah’s life brings her buried feelings to the surface. As a string of horrific incidents tears apart their community, an arsonist’s wrath threatens to destroy them all. With Aaron as the only suspect, Sarah must follow her instincts to find the truth. But to protect an innocent man, she might risk her heart to Aaron again…and risk her life to an unknown killer.
Enter the Giveaway
This giveaway IS NOT monitored and/or administered by this blog. Winners will be contacted directly by the author or event coordinator if you win! Also make sure to visit the previous stops and continue to follow the tour for the rest of November! Find the schedule here → http://bit.ly/1kyAkti. Good luck and have fun.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- (2) copies of each print title (one for yourself and one for a friend!): Christmas in Mustang Creek by Linda Lael Miller, The Christmas Family by Linda Goodnight, When Secrets Strike by Marta Perry, A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne and Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne
- An eBook copy of an Act Like It by Lucy Parker
- (2) Harlequin Classics limited edition notebooks
- 100,000 Harlequin MyRewards points
- (1) Brenda Jackson Westmorelands notebook