As I’m feeling slightly festive, a rarity for me, here are 10 signs you know Christmas has arrived on the farm!
The 3 Wise Reps
Similar to the nativity scene, the festive period warrants an annual visit from local reps who come to the farm bearing gifts of calendars, chocolate and whiskey as a thank you for your custom over the past year.
It is an age old tradition replacing the advent calendar; as soon as you see the rep, you know Christmas is around the corner.
Double order everything
Most things shut down over the Christmas holidays and the farming industry is no exception to this rule.
Experience has taught you to order that extra proven to tide you over until the New Year, as feed wagons don’t and won’t work on Christmas Day!
But for some reason the bills keep coming…
Beware the practical presents
Being pragmatic is something every farmer has a knack for and this is most evident in the giving of practical presents at Christmas time.
Try and look excited as you unwrap yet another pair of overalls, new wellingtons or a head torch for lambing time: it was bought with good intentions, honest!
Make sure the turkey fits in the AGA
Farmers get overtly excited when they realise they can secure a bargain and this happens every Christmas with a visit to the local Turkey Sale.
Despite going to purchase a 17lbs for Christmas Day, it’s not unusual to leave with not one, but two cheap 22lbs!
And whilst you personally may delighted with your bargains, the person cooking the Christmas dinner certainly isn’t when they realise the bird doesn’t fit in the AGA.
Cue a few curse words, some last minute butchering skills and a promise that next time you’ll just stick to the prescribed shopping list!!
Jobs before Presents
It is still a working day meaning daily jobs, such as milking and feeding up, need to be complete before any presents are unwrapped!
On the plus side, the folks are used to getting up early, meaning you never needed to wait for them to wake up as a child before you could open anything.
Rating fields in terms of sledging speed
There is something enchanting about fields covered in glistening untouched snow – especially for a child growing up and playing on the farm.
With slopes and fields galore, you have ranked each one over the years on how fast your sledge will go down the hill and still have favourite field to sledge in.. even at the age of 22!
However, please note that sledges, ropes and quad-bikes do not mix and will only end in tears…
Christmas time means holly seekers come out in force, looking for berries to make some festive decorations.
And whilst it is tempting to send these festive people found rummaging in your hedgerows away, experience shows acts of kindness are sometimes rewarded ….
Like that time when we awoke to find a handmade wreathe on our doorstop!
What’s a Carol Singer?
Certainly something only found in films.
The mere thought of carol singers trekking all the way down the snowy and slippery lane just to sing you a song is simply absurd and amusing.
But fair play if anyone has ever turned up outside your farmhouse and belted out a carol or two!
Lost Christmas Walkers
Everyone loves a good countryside stroll and for some reason townies choose the festive period (Christmas Eve/Day/Boxing Day) in particular to go on one.
Be prepared to answer the door to a lost walker half way through your turkey dinner: it is guaranteed to happen one year!
Mouthwatering Kitchen Smells
You certainly never went hungry at Christmas time in a farm house.
From Christmas cakes, mince pies and festive trifles to homemade stuffing, pastries and cheese sauce, farmers wives and mothers have the festive menu perfected and you are guaranteed to leave the table feeling as obese as the turkey you just devoured.
You have dreamed about this meal all year long and every year it just keeps getting better.
And nobody’s Christmas Dinner will ever come up to scratch!
Those are my 10 signs Christmas has arrived on the farm. But what are yours?
I hope you have enjoyed this festive post.
All that is left for me to say is Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!