Christmas on the Dairy Farm

As I write this, we had the first snow of the year last night, creating a perfect environment to think about Christmas.  This year our family is staying local all through the Christmas season and I will have to admit I have been humming, “There is no place like home for the holidays”. Even as a young child, we were often traveling over Christmas which was fun, but there is something extra special about being home.  What do you remember about Christmas as young child?  

Christmas in Eastern Kansas

For me, in eastern Kansas, it often would start with a trip to the woods on Grandpa’s farm. I remember frozen ground and a fresh layer of snow, frosty breath and bright, crisp, fresh air as we walked into the woods to gather fresh greenery and twigs with red berries.  I loved those trips to the woods, as adventure and excitement was always just around the next tree.  Walks there with my Dad would bring stories of sapling climbing. (Find a small sapling, climb up till it bends and ride back to the ground. Note: If you try this, don’t get one that leaves you hanging at the halfway point!) He would also point out the spot he wanted to build a dam for irrigation water.  

After coming out of the woods, we would stop in at Grandma’s house for some hot cocoa and saltine crackers with peanut butter on them.  Then we would play a robust game of Old Maid or Uno for a while before heading home with our spoils from the woods.  

Dad farmed and dairy farmed with his brothers and father. As a family run business, the only guarantee was that there was always more work than time.  Especially on Christmas Eve,it seemed to be a given that there would be a last minute problem to delay his coming home.  My sister and I would stand on the couch to look out the big window facing the drive, bounce and wait and ask Mom over and over, “When is he coming?” After a nice dinner on Christmas Eve, we would always open our big gifts, so we were motivated to get on with it! Then Christmas Day, it was dinner at the grandparents after church and Christmas with all the cousins.  

I always felt sorry for the kids that had to wait until Christmas morning to open their gifts, then rush to church.  Still do, in fact!  We would get up Christmas morning and open stocking gifts so we really felt we had the best of it!  The funny thing is that money was extremely tight in those days and I can’t remember a single gift I received then.  What I do remember is the extreme joy of it all, the anticipation, and the love of our parents as they sacrificed to make Christmas such a wonderful time.  Looking back now with a father’s eyes, that is the gift I hope to pass on to my children. A little more challenging than swiping the Discover card, but hopefully worth it.

What do you remember?

So, what do you remember about Christmas as a child?  I would love to hear your memories if you are so inclined. My memories were triggered by a conversation last week with a longtime customer/friend.  He hasn’t lost his love of Christmas even though he has several years on me. In fact, he made me laugh when he said, “You know how they always say it is more blessed to give than receive? Well, I tell my grandchildren that just in case it isn’t, give something to yourself. That way you will have both bases covered!”  After I got done laughing, he said, “Now you can’t put that in the newsletter.” Which you can see, I did anyway!  But his name shall be withheld to honor the spirit of the request even if not the letter. All in all, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with many warm and love filled memories created.  Now I think I am going to go have a cup of hot cocoa!

Author Info

Digging dirt since 1994.

And we don't plan to stop anytime soon.

Start Your Project