Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Gifts for a Farmer's Wife

Christmas is officially here and the smell of sugar cookies and pine trees fill the air. For most people, the presents are already wrapped and under the tree. For some though, they might be doing some crazy last-minute shopping. That is okay, farmers work best while under pressure. Just imagine instead of putting Christmas presents under the tree on time, you must get the last of the crop out before that snow or rainstorm.

Last year I informed you all about the perfect gifts to get a farmer-- duck tape and WD-40. I realize now that there is someone pretty important that I am forgetting, the farmer’s wife. Now farmers, if you are reading this and realized you haven’t bought her anything yet, that is okay I am here to help.

First off, no your wife does not want that tractor or that planter you were looking at online, and they definitely do not really want a new washing machine or a post-it note of something you plan to buy her because you forgot to shop... again.

Here are some options that you could get her instead. You could give her some peace and quiet. It’s December, you are no longer in the field, and it is off-season. If you are not working on something in the shop, chances are you are in the house either snoring on the couch or asking when lunch is. Remember your wife probably did all of the family Christmas shopping and decorating. She is the one that needs the nap!

Another thing you could do for your wife is to tell her thank you. Sometimes it might go unnoticed what all they really do. They are the person that cleans up the floor after you walked across it not knowing your boots had a hole in them and now her kitchen smells and resembles your cattle yard. She also just washed your coat because your hydraulic hose somehow just exploded all over it. They are the person doing your nasty dirty farm laundry and somehow manage to get the dirt and grease stains out of your work jeans every day. Farm wives deserve so much more, but seriously an honest heartfelt thank you is a great start. Farm moms are busy all through the holidays as the kids are all home from school which means more meals and more laundry.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and get everything you ask for and I am sorry farmers, but Santa can not fit any new equipment on his sleigh or under your tree. Also farmers, do not forget about your wife. She deserves a nap, a thank you, and so much more! Merry Christmas! 

- Kesley Holdgrafer

Christmas Cards

For the past week, your mailbox has probably started to fill up with lovely Christmas cards. People have been sending Christmas cards to each other for many years. These Christmas cards — at the time called Christmas Greetings — first appeared in the United States in 1840. This was very expensive though, so most could not afford to send them. It was not until later when they became mass-produced that they became affordable. In 1915 John C. Hall and two of his brothers created the extremely well-known Hallmark Cards. I bet even some of your Christmas cards you receive this year are Hallmark cards. Another type of card received is one with photos on them. These became popular in 1910’s and 1920’s. Today some people even send letters along with a card informing others about the year they had.

The type of Christmas cards you receive in the mail varies. Some contain family photos, some contain animals and pets, some even contain letters. I remember all the past years standing in front of a camera getting my picture taken for our annual family Christmas card. One of my favorite Christmas cards we ever had was when we got a new manure spreader and we took it by that and the card said, “Spreading Christmas Cheer!” Another one of my favorite cards is from the year my little brother was born. He was born 2 months early so he was pretty small! We gift-wrapped him in a small box as my older brothers and I held it, poor Luke looked like a Jack in the box with a holiday bow, while the card read, “Our little package was delivered early this year!”

With or without silly manure spreader pictures or funny sayings, Christmas cards are a fun way to spread Christmas cheer to all of your family, friends, and neighbors. This year has been so weird, maybe you haven’t seen some people in a while, so send a card. I know the process of sending a Christmas card is no fun because it involves licking the stamps and envelopes which leaves a terrible taste on your tongue after sealing a number of them. However, in the long run, everyone loves to get fun mail other than bills. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and receive many memorable Christmas cards this season.

- Kesley Holdgrafer

Memory Lane

This year I am finally a senior and recently I have been finding myself going through old photos. I needed a baby picture for the high school yearbook and I am also starting to look for old pictures to display at my graduation party. I never thought about how much photos have evolved over the years and the meaning and stories they can hold. This simple snapshot in time can store so much. A single photo can bring back a countless amount of stories and memories from just one glance.

Today, as teenagers, we store all our photos on our phones and rarely if ever get them printed off. In a matter of seconds I can share any photo with anyone across the country by Snapchat, email or text. Still, nothing beats taking a day, sitting down, and going through drawers of old photographs, a fun trip down memory lane. Looking through them you recall memories — some good, some bad — or learn new stories that people have not talked about in a long time. The things you can learn from looking at old photos with your grandparents is incredible!

Picking out which baby photo I wanted to use for school was quite fun. I found one that was well suited to me. I was sitting up holding my favorite pink tractor and on my shirt it said parts girl. I guess starting from the young age of six-months-old my future was already planned and I was destined to be a parts runner! My parents have made sure the caption on my shirt was true and since I turned 16, I have gone on more parts runs than I could have ever imagined. I need to take a few pictures of them, or of the ice cream stops on the way home, so I will remember them forever in photos.

As we roll into December, our farmers are becoming less busy in fields. On cold or rainy or snowy days you can even find them in the house earlier in the evenings. This is prime time to stop them and sit down to go through old photos. We all know farmers have great stories and if you pull out some pictures of their old trucks or farm equipment the stories will come flowing. Remember to take and PRINT more pictures for future trips down memory lane!

~ Kesley Holdgrafer