Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sharing The Holiday Cheer

The holidays are pretty easily my favorite time of year, and I think it's safe to say my husband's too.

He may not admit it, but we both enjoy seeing all our trees set up, wrapping presents, looking at Christmas lights, reading the story of Jesus to our little girl…I think the holiday cheer is in full force at our house!

Since I married my farmer and moved 800 miles away from my family and friends we tend to schedule our holidays well in advance. We start talking about our plans for the holidays a few months ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Basically what we have set up is that we rotate. One year in Indiana for Thanksgiving and South Dakota for Christmas. Then we swap. Sometimes, like last year, we stay home for both holidays. It was our daughter's first holiday and we wanted to celebrate at home just the three of us.

Typically Christmas tends to be a favored holiday to visit for my husband. He loves Christmas. And that probably works out best since we started tiling our own fields and there is a good possibility we could be in the field tiling. Sometimes he gets a little stressed when we hear it has snowed 3 feet in South Dakota and we are in Indiana unable to help, but it works out.

My husband tends to only take one vacation a year. As a farmer it's really hard for him to leave the farm. He prefers to always be home. We don't really count visiting my family for a week over the holidays as a vacation…it's more like we don't get to see my family all year long so we cram as much as we can into seven days of holiday bliss.

This year I took the holiday planning pretty seriously. It's the first year our daughter will really be able to experience it and I wanted things that my farmer husband could also participate in, around his schedule.

One thing we always do is a Angel Tree family. This is something we can all participate in, and help pick out gifts for. Then we wrap them up and take them to our local business and they distribute. It is a really great way to spread holiday cheer, plus I really love taking the time to pick out something extra special. And my husband loves buying presents, it's a perfect family trip to town.

Another thing I did this year was really focus on the advent calendar. I wanted something timeless, fun, and still had the meaning for the season. This is what I did, and so far it seems to be working perfect! I share a little tid bit about the story of Jesus and then we choose a jar. In the jars I have things as simple as a sweet treat to driving to town to look at holiday lights as a family. This is something that if I am at a meeting my hubby farmer can manage on his own, and could even be a bit "helpful" in his choice of jars so that he could pick an easy one, like popcorn and a movie, since that will probably be his favorite activity in all the jars!

Holidays are such a fun time for celebration and being married to a farmer can sometimes bring more stress into an already stressful time of year. Especially when two years in a row you are moving snow on Christmas Day, just so you can feed the cattle. It happens, trust me.

But, the good thing is if you communicate your thoughts ahead of time and do other small things to celebrate the season it really helps be prepared for a blizzard on your Christmas Eve Dinner.

One thing we do in our family is rotate chores on the holidays, unless it's an "all hands on deck" kind of day. But, typically each man in our family has a Sunday for chores. When it's a holiday we rotate out the same way. This year, for example, we had Thanksgiving. This gives every person a chance to spend the holiday with their family. And if it blizzards then they load up their wives and kids to watch gates while snow is being moved.

Even if we are bundled up doing chores and trying to stay warm while doing it on Christmas Day it just matters we are together and celebrating our holidays being thankful for our livelihood.

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