If there ever was a year that needed the joy of the holiday spirit, it would be 2020. It’s undoubtedly been a long and crazy year. Honestly, I almost feel too tired to find that spark of joy to make the season special.
Yet, maybe that is what makes this year’s holiday season so very special. Usually, this time of year is filled with crazy hustle and bustle. Adding that on top of a farm schedule feels basically impossible in the normal year.
So maybe this is the year we’ve been waiting for, to slow down and really enjoy the season for what it’s meant to be. This year has been good at making us rearrange and examine our priorities.
That slowdown provides us with the opportunity to find the magic in those everyday tasks. Truthfully, there is so much holiday spirit on the farm: the gift of new life in newborn calves, the quiet contented sound of the barn and happy cows in the evening, and the warm glow of lights against a frost-covered landscape.
It’s also in the blessing of the people who work beside us. For many, that is family. That work dynamic can be challenging, but it’s also so rewarding in the gifts it gives when we truly examine it. It’s seeing the enthusiasm in our children’s eyes at even the simplest things we’ve done a million times. It’s in all those throughout the industry who support us all year long. We are rich in relationships.
Yes, the days are long, and we are often beyond tired. It often feels there is very little left to give. But this time of year, we are also so lucky to be surrounded with holiday spirit in all the little ways, which are exactly what this season is about.
The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.