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Farms offer fun, festive holiday activities

Just this past week, the Christmas wreath went back up on the front of the milk cow barn at the farm. It is so hard to believe that the holidays are once again just around the corner. It seems as if we were just taking decorations down from last year, and a whole year has once again flown by.

As the Christmas and New Year holidays approach, it can be a fun, yet stressful time. Are you looking to start a new tradition with your family this year, or incorporate something new into your holiday routine to lessen the stress of all of the holiday preparations? Look no further. I am here to share with you a few fun and festive ways to celebrate the holidays all while supporting and thinking of your local farmers. These farm families not only have all of the normal holiday work, but the farm and animals must be included into their holiday plans as well.

As mentioned above, the holiday season can be overwhelming for some people. It seems as if there is always so much to do — gifts to buy and wrap, cookies to bake, parties to attend. The list seems to be never ending.

Did you ever think of what the holiday season is like for a farm family? Not only do they have the normal holiday chaos to balance, but they also have daily chores and any extras that may need to be done to make chores easier on the holiday itself. Typically, farmers do not get to go away for the whole holiday, but if even leaving the farm for just a few hours, extra steps must be taken to ensure that the animals are still cared for when they are gone.

On Christmas morning, farmers must make sure that barn chores are done before enjoying a meal with family and opening presents. What better way to thank a farmer and to appreciate the hard work they do day in and day out than to incorporate their products in to your holiday meals and gifts this season.

I think that one of the main staples of Christmas is leaving milk and cookies out on Christmas Eve for Santa. If seems as if almost every household with children does something to this effect. Foremost, this is a great way to not only leave a delicious and nutritious treat for Santa, but it also a wonderful way to support your local dairy farmer. Real milk is naturally 97 percent fat free, and loaded with nine essential nutrients. And the cookies more likely than not are made with butter, which is another great way to support the dairy industry.

Does your family normally do an Advent calendar? This year, instead of doing a Christmas countdown, what about trying a cheese Advent calendar. Not only will you get to start a new tradition, but what’s better than sampling a new variety of cheese each day as you count your way down to Christmas all while supporting a farmer?

If you have a lot of gifts to buy, think of making your own gift baskets this year with various types of meats, honey, syrup, eggs, etc. Not only will your gift provide the recipient with delicious products, but it also will support small businesses, and small, local farmers.

My wish for you this holiday season is that you have a wonderful time filled with family, food, memories and good health. It is so easy to get lost in the hustle of everyday life, so please make sure to set aside some time this year to spend with those you love, doing things that bring joy to you. Simple things like driving around looking at Christmas lights while sipping hot chocolate, or building a gingerbread house (more like a gingerbread barn in our house) are easy, yet fun ways to make the most out of the season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Holler is a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.

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