Amish Triplets for Christmas

By: Carrie Lighte

The Widower’s Christmas Gift

Widowed father of triplets Sawyer Plank knows he has his hands full. After arriving in the Amish community of Willow Creek to help with the fall harvest, Sawyer asks schoolteacher Hannah Lantz to be his nanny. With a deaf grandfather to care for, the offer is more than just a job for Hannah—it’s a chance to fulfill her all-but-forgotten dream of being a mother. The children soon flourish under Hannah’s watch, and though Sawyer never dreamed he’d find happiness again, he can’t pretend he’s not falling for her, too. But with the holiday season heralding Sawyer’s return to Ohio, can he make his Christmas wish to stay a family come true?

“Teacher!” Sarah gushed. “How we missed you yesterday!”

“Guder mariye,” Hannah greeted them. “I am very glad to see you, too. You may put your books at your desks and go play outside before the bell is rung.”

“Guder mariye, Hannah,” Sawyer said as the children cantered out the door. “How are you?”

“I am glad to be back at school,” she admitted. Then, with a faraway note in her voice, she said, “I’m glad the kinner are coming home with me today. I truly missed their presence yesterday. Without them, I felt… I don’t know. I guess I might say I was at a loss.”

Sawyer was flooded with a sense of warmth. “I was concerned your groossdaadi might not have wanted you to care for the kinner any longer,” he ventured. “I didn’t know what I would have done without you.”

Hannah scrunched her eyebrows together. “Didn’t Doris take gut care of them?”

“Jah, she did,” Sawyer replied. “It’s just that she’s not…”

When he didn’t finish his sentence, Hannah inclined her head to meet his eyes. “She’s not what?” she asked.

He leaned forward, so as not to be overheard. “She’s not you.”

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:19

To my family,

who always supports my creative endeavors,

with thanks also to the Love Inspired team, especially Shana Asaro,

for helping this dream become a reality.


Hannah Lantz rose from her desk, smoothed her skirt and forced her pale, delicate features into a smile. She didn’t want the little ones to know how distraught she was that she would no longer be their teacher once harvest season ended. Positioning herself in the doorway, she waited to greet the scholars, as school-aged children were known, when they climbed the stairs of the two-room schoolhouse where she herself had been taught as a child.

Doris Hooley, the statuesque redheaded teacher who taught the upper-grade classes, stood on the landing, fanning herself with her hand. “It’s so hot today, you probably wish Bishop Amos and the school board decided to combine your class with mine immediately instead of waiting until late October.”

“Neh,” Hannah replied, thinking about how desperately she and her grandfather needed the income she earned as a teacher. “I’m grateful they extended my position a little longer. It’s been a blessing to teach for the past eleven years, and I’m truly going to miss the scholars.”

“Jah,” Doris agreed. “Such a shame so many young women from Willow Creek left when they married men from bigger towns in Lancaster County. Otherwise, enrollment wouldn’t have dwindled. Not that I blame them. Willow Creek isn’t exactly overflowing with suitable bachelors. That’s why I’m so eager to meet John Plank’s nephew from Ohio. Not only is he a wealthy widower, but I’ve heard he’s over six feet tall!”

Hannah cringed at her remarks. Thirty-six-year-old Doris never exercised much discretion about her desire to be married, a trait that eventually earned her the nickname of “Desperate Doris” within their small Pennsylvania district. As an unmarried woman of twenty-nine years herself, Hannah thought the term was mean-spirited, although if pressed, she had to admit it was fitting in Doris’s case.

“I believe John’s nephew is coming here to help with the harvest—not to meet a bride,” Hannah contradicted as a cluster of children trod barefoot across the yard, swinging small coolers in their hands.

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