Holidays on the Farm
The holidays were upon us again and they always seem to come really fast. I always think that when the next holiday rolls around that I will be better prepared, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Christmas is extra special to me. It’s not only the birth of Jesus but my son, my first child, was born on Christmas morning (quite unexpectedly!). I often find that Christmas is more meaningful to me because of the opportunity I was given to have my child share a birthday with Jesus Christ. When I asked him how he feels to have his birthday on Christmas, he said “I like having my birthday then because it’s unique.”
For Christmas, our tradition always includes going to Christmas Eve Mass, coming home to have dinner, wrap any presents still needing to be finished, read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” hang our Christmas stockings and the key for Santa to get in and then watch “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Then, on Christmas morning, we have cinnamon rolls, celebrate my son’s birthday and open our Christmas presents.
Every other year my husband and his brother alternate who has to cover chores so that not one person is stuck with it every year. On the year that my husband has to do Christmas morning chores, he gets up about 4:00 a.m. and he hurries to feed 600 hungry mouths including the calves that need to be bottle fed, and usually is home around 8:30 a.m. He also tries to help his employees finish up so they can get home to their families. Around Christmas, I saw this post by Jeff Foxworthy that I had to post to our farm Facebook page, Crandall Family Dairy:
My youngest, Isabel, when asked how she feels when Dad is at the farm doing chores, she said, “I wish he would hurry up.” Kylie, my middle, said she was impatient having to wait. Thankfully Brad had Christmas morning off this year.
We celebrate with our families at different times. Brad’s family is always before Christmas, around the 22nd and, just in the last couple of years, the whole family started spending the night with his parents and making it a 24-hour experience. There are 10 grandkids so it’s about making memories for the kids.
My family is usually after Christmas. We rotate between my siblings and myself as to who will host. My mom usually always makes leg of lamb and oyster stuffing, two staples that we look forward to. We have Christmas day to ourselves so the kids can enjoy their gifts, we play games, watch movies or take naps.
For New Years, growing up it was fun to watch the ball drop to ring in the New Year. I quickly realized that when you’re married to a dairy farmer, they can’t stay up to ring in the New Year because their New Year will start around 4:30 a.m. Now that the kids are getting older, they are wanting to do that and I find it difficult to stay up that late.
Usually during the holidays I am not only busily scurrying to get things ready for Christmas but I also have to do farm bookwork. I have to start finalizing the year and preparing for taxes. We do our taxes around the 1st of February and have to have them complete by March 1st. So these additional things are extra layers that we add to our holiday plates.
No matter how you celebrate the holidays or who you spend it with, I feel it’s important to understand that you are creating memories and traditions and to appreciate the people you are with. I hope that 2016 brings you and those you are closest to happiness, health and safety. May God bless you.