Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Amish’

Tis the Season to Catch the Christmas Spirit

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Entering  Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe, you see the real reason for the season displayed.

Decorating for Christmas helps lift the spirits of a world which is normally a bit on the gloomy side at this time of year. If you need any ideas, Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe near Berlin might be the perfect place to visit. With over 20,000 square feet to explore, you’ll feel like you’re in a Christmas Wonderland surrounded by the songs of the Christmas season all year long.

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Jo Ann is pleased with her new White on White Christmas display surrounded by angels.

The story of Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe and Jo Ann Schrock-Hershberger are inseparable. Over twenty years ago, Jo Ann was traveling and visited a Christmas store. She wondered if that idea would work back at her home near Berlin, Ohio.

Jo Ann’s grandfather served as an Amish bishop. Her father and mother broke away from the Amish tradition when Jo Ann was two years old. She wasn’t real sure if Christmas would be an attraction in Amish country. So she tried a small shop first. It worked!

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A multitude of angels welcome  you in Alleluia Chapel filled with antique pews and stained glass windows.

Their unique round barn, once part of the Schrock farm, became the home for Tis the Season. When designing the layout of the entire shoppe herself, Jo Ann made sure “no matter where you are, you can see the reason for the season.” A large nativity scene sets high in the center, with the Alleluia Chapel on the main floor.

When you step through the front door, it’s like walking into Christmas. Greeted by the sounds of Christmas music, spectacular trees, beautiful collectibles, and innumerable ornaments, you are immediately filled with the holiday spirit.

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This overview from the circular walkway on the second floor displays the spirit of Tis the Season.

Three levels provide room to explore. The main level has decorated trees of every style and color while the upper loft, with circular walkway, has rooms filled with specific decorations. One room overflows with snowmen, while another has various Santa ornaments. A room brimming with gingerbread decorations also holds various candy canes.

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Birds happen to be one of their most popular decorations for trees. This cardinal tree is perfect for Ohio.

The bottom floor contains examples of many trees, ranging from 2′ to 10′. Here you’ll find a great variety of trees: silver, twig, slim, prelit and more. There are over a hundred decorated trees throughout the building with varying themes from reindeer to angels. Each one is beautiful in its own way and gives you many ideas for decorating your own tree.

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On the upper floor, snowmen dominate one of the rooms.

Their constantly expanding inventory now includes thousands of bulbs, tree toppers and garlands. Over a hundred different kinds of lights are available. It’s Ohio’s largest year round Christmas shop.

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Collectibles like Snowbabies make delightful gifts. Various collectibles can be found throughout the shop.

Not only will you find everything you need to give your home a festive Christmas appearance, but they also have unique home decor and holiday gifts from dolls to gift baskets. Many collectibles are available here that can’t be easily found elsewhere.

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The most popular area personalizes from a large selection of ornaments.Selena and Logan find this a happy place to work.

Happy employees abound, but who wouldn’t be happy surrounded by Christmas. However, the main reason the employees enjoy working here is Jo Ann. She works side by side with them, roasting nuts or running the cash register. Everyone has a headset, which keeps them all in close contact.

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A nostalgic Christmas tree contains old-fashioned ornaments.

People come here from all over the world because they love Christmas and can find unique Christmas decorations. Men, women, and children enthusiastically explore all three floors. Once in a while a husband could be found patiently waiting on one of their many comfy sofas and chairs. Many come on family outings. Almost everyone leaves with a piece of Christmas.

When Jo Ann has time, she and her husband enjoy traveling and most likely visit Christmas shops along the way. While they have traveled extensively throughout the United States and taken many cruises, one place left on her bucket list is the homeland of her ancestors – Southern Germany and Austria. Everyone needs a change of pace now and then.

Plan an escape from daily routine and catch the spirit of the holidays at Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe. It’s the kind of place you return time and time again…I do.

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This old-fashioned Santa bell was my choice this year.

There’s only one problem. Which lovely Christmas decorations should you take home with you? Several of their ornaments hang on my tree every year, and an old-fashioned Santa was added on this road trip. Visit Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe where it’s nothing but Christmas all year long.

Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe can be found along State Route 39  near Millersburg, Ohio. It sets down off the road in a small valley as part of Schrock’s Amish Farm and Village.

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Life Lessons Learned at an Amish School

Coming together is a beginning…

Keeping together is progress…

Working together is Success!

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Glen Rock Amish School was filled with peacefulness.

The above words caught my eye upon entering the Glen Rock Amish School near Adamsville.  The peacefulness filling the classroom was very noticeable and unusual for a school setting. Students and teachers talked in very soft voices to promote the calm atmosphere.

Being respectful of their beliefs, no pictures were taken of the students or teachers. A gas well on the property supplied fuel to heat the classroom. The solar panel on the school roof generated enough power to light the room well, and perfectly clean outdoor restroom facilities were located behind the school.

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Student transportation to school waited just outside the door.

Students arrived in the morning by horse drawn cart or buggy. Older brothers and sisters were responsible for bringing young ones to school. They brought along their lunch buckets, which often contain a sandwich, cookie and fruit. An oven is available in the classroom if part of their lunch needs to be heated.

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Lunch boxes and coats were just inside the front door.

School days last from 8-3, beginning in September through part of May.  One classroom holds 31 students from first to eighth grade, the last grade Amish children are required to attend. Three young teachers oversee their work.

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Their classroom was extremely neat when they went to recess.

Another sign on the wall showed their deep base in religion as learning Bible verses is part of their curriculum.

Bible memories are ‘ beary’ good.

On the wall beside this saying, cards for each student indicated how many Bible verses they had learned.  German spelling papers hung on the walls as well, since they learn to write English and German, which is used in prayer and church services.

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One student’s books included Math, Spelling and German.

With a few soft words from the teacher, students moved smoothly to one side of the room and shared the old traditional school desks with inkwell hole and pencil holder at the top, and fold down seat. Song books were passed down the rows and students joined in singing two songs of religious nature, one of them being ‘Mansion Over the Hilltop’.

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Their playground gave good opportunity to run off extra energy at recess time.

All of the students appeared to be in great physical condition.  The obesity problem noticed throughout the United States was not evident in this Amish school setting.  They did have a basic playground of merry-go-round, slide and swings, and the children eagerly ran outside to play.

Recess gave children a chance to play their favorite games. Older students played volleyball while the younger ones engaged in a game called “Rabbit”, similar to dodge ball, but with a very soft ball.

A hand pump supplied water for students and the classroom. They were eager to help others fill their personal cup with water using this hand pump. Behaviors, such as splashing or unkind words, did not exist on their playground.

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Bible questions on the board were part of the daily lesson.

When asked what they liked best about school, several said spelling and learning their Bible verses. The Golden Rule posted in the classroom provides their guide for daily life.

In the evening students look forward to going home to tend their animals. You could see the pride and excitement on their faces as they talked about their rabbits, goats, horses, and chickens.

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The children said they had fun making this tractor out of pop cans.

This feeling of freedom in a peaceful manner brings thoughts of a simpler life long ago. In this Amish school setting, their basic education system provides not only the three Rs, but also life lessons for being harmonious, caring individuals as they learn to live by the Golden Rule.

As one teacher expressed, “We are thankful we have our own schools.” Some day these students will realize what a blessing their education has provided.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all would attempt to live by the Golden Rule?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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