Christmas On The Farm

January 5, 2023

Christmas on the farm is special. Every year we look forward to the same traditions we’ve all experienced as kids, now enjoying them as parents. I will say, being a parent brings an entirely new perspective; holiday magic turns quickly into work. Yet, through tired eyes I still appreciate the magic of the season.

It all started with a week of preparations for the looming forecast. A white Christmas was on it’s way and newscasters sounded the alarm. Our farmhands put in extra hours all week knowing hard work pays off during a storm.

A warm dry place for the animals to rest is imperative. They delivered extra straw to all shelters, creating a deep bedding for the animals to stay warm.

Water sources need to be readily accessible for the animals. They installed water heaters, and moved shelters over the mir-fount tanks to prevent any freezing water.

Our cattle have access to barns for shelter, but typically choose to spend their time outdoors during any storm. The guys stack large round bales of hay at least 10 feet tall throughout the pastures to create breaks in the wind.

All the equipment has to be ready in case of emergencies; batteries charged, fuel tanks full, necessary parts attached.

All food for the animals is prepared, grinded, and stored with easy access. They fill feeders to the top for animals on full-feed. The rest of the animals are fed daily through the storm.

The day before Christmas Eve, I was inside preparing a meal for my husband’s side of the family. The snowstorm was forecasted to blow through later in the evening, but I knew looking out my kitchen window that we were ready. I saw many strong hands working towards the same goal, and I couldn’t have been more confident thanks to all the preparation.

Our family traditionally enjoys two prime rib roasts for our first Christmas feast. We custom-cut the roasts from one of our non-gmo corn-fed cattle processed for our personal use in 2021, and held onto them for this occasion. I cooked one using a no-peak oven technique. Nick smoked one using his smoker. It was the ultimate battle of the prime rib roasts with zero losers, only winners.

After the meal, we opened fun gifts from one another and filled the room with laughter, colorful ribbons, and festive paper. Typically, we’d all sit down and play some games around our big oak table, but not this year. The storm was in full-force, so our family had to hit the road before it became too dangerous to travel.

One of the farm guys left from finishing chores about the same time as our family. He called Nick and let him know that the snow had drifted our busy road shut. The guys spent the rest of the evening pulling out around 15 vehicles from snow drifts, Nick not returning home until midnight.

We were exhausted already, and Christmas wasn’t even here yet. At one point during the weekend, I shed a couple tears while I looking at my husband and whined, “Holidays are hard work.” He gave me my moment, picked me up, and we carried on towards the next great tradition.

We attended two more family parties with mounds of glorious food, sweets I still dream about today, treasured gifts, games and plenty of gabbing. All of the best moments of the season spent with people we love. The farm made it through the storm, no deaths to record, or animals to rescue.

Are we tired? Oh yes. Grateful? Ever more.

Renee Robinson-Seelye

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