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Christmas On The Farm

Dec 16, 2015

Well, it’s that time of year…

The debate of when Black Friday shopping should begin has finally settled down until next year. Christmas carols are being played in nearly every store and Christmas tree pictures are consuming Facebook.

Christmas isn’t any different in our house than yours. My Christmas trees are all set up and my farmer spent a Sunday afternoon after chores hanging our Christmas lights. And I have nearly all my presents wrapped and under the tree, or locked in the storage room.

We have debated the “best” way to do Christmas morning, and the discussion usually turns to whether or not it will blizzard on Christmas Day. My first year as a new wife I spent sitting in a pickup watching gates while the guys moved piles and piles of snow from our feed yards. That night we cuddled on the couch with frozen pizza — definitely not the way I grew up! I can think of only one time I missed a holiday celebration in my family, so working all day on Christmas was a new thing for me. But when it comes to snow, it’s best to stay on top of it. In South Dakota we can get enough snow to completely cover an entire fence, which means cattle can simply walk away. And sometimes we have to get snow out of the feed bunks before we can even feed cattle for the day. Moving snow takes time — lots and lots of time.

On holidays on our farm, we try to rotate holiday chores so not all the guys are working on every single holiday. This year it’s our year for Christmas chores, but if it snows a lot it will become an “all hands on deck” approach.

Because it’s our holiday for chores we are still talking about the best way to do Santa, especially since our 3-year-old knows all about Santa and presents. But I can promise you that Santa will come to our house. And I am going to do my best to keep a very excited 3-year-old away from presents until Daddy finally gets home.

On Christmas I pray for mild weather — a perfect dusting of snow to give us a white Christmas. Because no matter what the day looks like, family doesn’t come first — cattle come first. They eat before we do, which means the excitement of Christmas morning sometimes comes in early afternoon or evening. We plan a delicious meal that we may or may not get to cook. Sometimes we just push it off for another day, and instead pop some frozen pizza in the oven.

What matters most is getting together as a family and attending church. And I think we will really enjoy seeing the sparkle of the day itself in our little girl’s eye.

Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

Morgan Kontz lives on a farm near Colman with her husband, Jason, and two children. She blogs about her experiences as a first generation South Dakota farm wife and writes a monthly agriculture column for the South Dakota Magazine website.

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