Around the Farm – Finding Joy this Season

Posted: December 18, 2019

Call me selfish, but the holiday season is one of my favorite times here on our farm. And trust me, it’s not just about the boxes of gifts underneath the Christmas tree.

The corn and beans are harvested (this year, just barely) but that’s a story for another day.

We’ve worked our ground for the year. The tractors and equipment have been washed, tended to and are safely stowed away in the shed.

I know that the farmers in our household can always breathe a little easier when crunch time eases back just a bit. And before we know it, the schedules fill up again!

This time of year the calendar is filled with the traditions of the holiday season. Everything seems to have a special flair, whether it’s decorating the tree or baking Christmas cookies
with Grandma.

And then there are things like:

  • Music concerts and classroom parties for our pre-schooler and kindergarten kiddos
  • Social gatherings and secret Santa gifts for our high schoolers
  • Get togethers with family and friends
  • Selecting “just” the right gifts and cooking up a storm before the “big” day
  • Cookie exchanges, the holiday train….

You get the idea.

But not everything is sugar plum dusted and topped with a big red bow.

Most farmers in the area would agree 2019 has been a challenge. From no plant to late plant to harvesting in December, it’s been an, errrr  – interesting year.

It would be easy to get stuck in a rut of focusing on hardship after a year like this. And these challenges aren’t over yet because the pain of this year will extend into next year.

But as we close out 2019, more than ever, everyone has the opportunity to practice a new, fresh mindset as we head into the holiday season.

This year, especially, my plan is to make certain this is an occasion of joy instead of a season of stress.

So what’s my plan? Well it looks something like this:

  • We may not make it to every holiday party, but we’ll be fully present and enjoy the ones we do attend.
  • Participate fully and sing joyfully in the celebrations along the way.
  • Think outside of our own circle by getting involved in helping others.
  • Take joy in what we have while helping others in need.
  • Not even trying to stay awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

I’m excited to head into the New Year with open hearts, open minds, and by taking a moment to stop and reflect on all there is to be thankful for.

After all, it isn’t so much about what’s inside our box as much as how we can think outside of the box.

From our farm here in Waterman, I wish you joy in this holiday season, wrapped in the love of family and community and hope for a prosperous New Year.

DEANNE FRIEDERS – WATERMAN FARM WOMAN, MOM, AND COOK


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