Well, holy shit, it’s 2018.
This year stared out by giving me a solid ass-kicking just so I would know who’s actually in charge around here. (Not me, clearly.) So, for the last 3 weeks I’ve been trying desperately to fix things all of the things that keep breaking around me– cars, chickens, work things, the heat in my house, this website— and it feels a lot like a game of whack-a-mole that I am not currently winning.
The two relevant things here are 1.) short of a few bleeding combs and one ill-timed molt, the chickens are fine, and 2.) on any given day there’s a 50% chance this website will go down or get flooded with spam. At this point, just hitting “publish” on this post will probably cause some kind of cascade failure that will bring down the entire internet. (Which, given some of the shit that’s going on on the internet these days… you’re welcome?)
Anyway, that’s all real stuff that’s happening right now, but since I’ve already spent too much time thinking about all of those things, let’s talk about something way more awesome: Christmas.
Christmas on the farm is my very favorite.
Thanksgiving is the holiday that I get up at the crack of dawn, spend 4 hours driving around the state of Ohio visiting all of my family, eating really good food, and shooting at things…
(Don’t worry, they’re clay things.)
Thanksgiving is awesome in all of the ways, but it’s also exhausting.
Christmas, on the other hand…
On Christmas, I do not leave the farm. My mom sleeps over (this year in an actual real, furnished room), we get up and drink mimosas, eat Christmas quiche, open presents, give the animals treats, and generally just enjoy the hell out of the day.
This year it was particularly fun that we had an actual white Christmas, because I kid you not, 2 weeks earlier I was working outside in short sleeves in 50 degree weather…
Then just before Christmas, this happened…
Welcome to Michigan.
Still, it made for a good day hanging out in the house next to the tree, playing with all of our delightful gifts. Both of my parents independently got me mugs this year…
And both are equally appropriate. Just like the socks from my aunt…
My family knows me so well.
One of my favorite things to get my mom every year is a custom calendar with pictures of the last year on the farm. (I get them through Social Print Studio and love the quality.)
We love looking back through old pictures to see how much progress has happened around the place (especially during the years when it feels like we haven’t made much headway.)
My other very favorite Christmas tradition is this…
I buy these in early December, wrap them up, and then I’m not allowed to read any new books for the whole month. By the time Christmas rolls around I’ve basically forgotten what I bought, so unwrapping and reading each one is a surprise.
I finished these four in the 4 days after Christmas.
I liked them all and particularly loved Manhattan Beach (as a woman, and a diver, and someone who wonders how the hell she would have survived born in the 30s.) Highly recommend.
While the beginning of 2018 hasn’t been easy, the end of 2017 was amazing, and that’s something to be grateful for!