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Gingerbread Ornaments

Start a Truly Traditional Christmas with Amish Decorations
Many states an America have Amish and Mennonite communities—Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri having some of the most thriving communities of all. One of the things that makes Amish communities so appealing to tourists is the fact that the emphasis on a simple life means things don’t sacrificed to progress. Carpentry is done the way it’s been done for hundreds of years, jams are made like they were in the 19th century—even Christmas favorites like gingerbread ornaments are made according to recipes handed down from generation to generation.

 

 

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One of the things that the Amish are famous for are their baked goods and snacks. Cakes, cookies, breads, cheese, and sausage are made the way they were made hundreds of years ago, without fillers or artificial flavoring. These traditions can be seen in even the smallest Amish wares. Take a treat like gingerbread ornaments hail back to Germany, originating centuries before. The Amish take these recipes and old-world style of baking to craft one-of-a-kind gingerbread ornaments that look like their ancient predecessors.
Because Christmas is a time where tradition is so important to us, Amish Christmas decorations fit in perfectly with the spirit of the season. And just like Amish gingerbread ornaments tie in an ancient tradition with a modern celebration, so to do Amish Christmas wares. Using the skills they have developed in quilting, baking, and carpentry, the Amish communities in America are capable of creating truly astonishing, beautiful Christmas decorations you’ll want to display year round.


Quilting is a skill that was very popular in 18th and 19th century America—and with good reason. It was a way to use extra scraps of fabric to make something warm and useful, as well as to display some creative flourish. Quilting also plays a very important role in Amish Christmas decorations. Because the Mennonite and Amish communities don’t tend to celebrate Christmas iconography, they don’t sell quilts with gingerbread ornaments and stockings stitched onto them. Instead, they create beautiful quilts in reds, greens, and whites that celebrate the spirit of the season without reflecting its materialism.


One of the most interesting uses of quilting techniques in these Christmas decorations is the folded star trivet design used to make ribbon balls for the Christmas tree. These intricately layered balls of fabric look like starbursts, but are simply ribbons and pieces of folded cloth. These folded star balls are so beautiful you may find yourself looking for any excuse to hang them up year round, even after the candy canes and gingerbread ornaments have been packed away.


Along these same lines, Amish needlework is also done with an intricacy and an attention to detail rarely seen any more. Using fine bits of string, Amish and Mennonite women crochet doilies that look like snowflakes under a microscope. These are wrapped around glass ball ornaments, or folded up into the shape of angels. These Christmas decorations can be kept for years as heirlooms, celebrating a hand-woven skill that is all-too-often forgotten.


So whether you’re tempted by thoughts of delicious gingerbread ornaments or one-of-a-kind Christmas tree decorations, consider looking into Amish- and Mennonite-made Christmas decorations. You may find something to celebrate in this rich historical tradition.