I gained quite an understanding of Amish life living amongst them for a couple of years. I really like to say that phrase – that I lived “amongst the Amish”. I was amongst them alright; they had me as their honored guest. It has such a nice ring to it. Kinda like how that lady lived "amongst" the gorillas or Kevin Costner lived "amongst" the indians.
I always felt really badly for the Amish brood. (Brood may or may not be what the Amish call their children, I can’t really remember. But it certainly sounds like an Amish word. Well, maybe they call them their “litter”. Is it an Amish litter? I’ll have to look it up.)
I have reflected quite a bit on the life of an Amish child during the holidays. If I were an Amish youngling and I had just discovered the concept of Santa Clause, my letter to the big man might look a little something like this:
Dear Santa Clause,
My name is Abraham Tripplehorn and I am all of 8 years of age. In my recent travels to the township, I saw in many of the shop windows your picture during my township travels. I inquired of yun’s Santa helpers and they bestowed upon me your address: 1 North Pole Lane, North Pole. I have walked this letter 6 miles to the nearest post and thus I hopest that it’s final resting place is now your wooly, Amish-made mittens that your niece purchased for a ridiculous amount of money on her recent visit to Paradise, PA .
I have filled my paper with the following list for yuns’ to consider for your first Christmas visit to my country abode:
1. Nintendo Wii with Wii sports.
2. A television.
3. Remote control car.
4. Scooter with off road tires.
5. Life sized submarine.
6. Electric Guitar
7. Pile of sticks
I showest the list to mine mother and she made me cross out the articles that were not allowed according to our way of life and our belief that modern convenience is Satan’s tool. You may cross off everything except for the pile of sticks. “Sony” is the name of Satan’s firstborn. His second born is named “Whirlpool”. I tallest my Pa that “Whirlpool is a strange name for a son, but he tells me that this is the way of Satan. He works in mysterious, evil ways.
I knowest what you are thinking: Do you always get the proverbial shaft when it comest to owning the best of the playthings? I mean, a pile of sticks? Let me ask you this Santa: Do you always skip the Amish on Christmas? Have you made it a point to fly by like we do not exist? I guess my point Santa is yes, yes I do.
Thank you Santa for your time. I look forward to meeting you on the Eve of the Yuletide. I will be waiting for you outside, next to Frankie the mule’s barn and behind the cabbage patch. (It is the patch that is full of cabbage. We have other “patches”, but my waiting area will be in the midst of the cabbage.) I will be the boy wearing the strange looking male bonnet. You may leave the pile of sticks next to my bed in the loft. If you could, could you please make the pile of sticks into a Nintendo Wii? Or at least have an elf do it for you?
Bless you dear Santa,
Abraham Tripplehorn, age 8