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Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions - Part 1

Martok
with Sue Weaver, Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Black and brown sheep with Christmas wreath around neck
Photo by Sue Weaver
Abram graced our holiday cards one year.

Christmas is coming, and Uzzi and I are excited! We wonder what we'll get for Christmas this year. Maybe a plate of Martok's Tasty Tidbits to share with my family. Yum!

And I know we'll get to eat the Christmas tree; that's a tradition on our farm. Do you have Christmas traditions at your house? If not, here are some you could try:

1. Harvest a Christmas tree from nature.
Mom and Dad choose a small, wild cedar tree because lots of them grow on our farm. They decorate it with nontoxic things like Christmas lights, strings of popcorn and cranberries, and lightweight ornaments. Then after Christmas, Uzzi and I get to eat it! If you don't live where evergreens grow, find a shapely bare branch from a regular tree, set its base in a bucket of rocks or sand, wrap the bucket in a towel, and decorate the "tree."

2. Sing and listen to Christmas carols.
If you don't know the words to your favorites, check at Caroling Corner; they're there! Then go caroling. Or go julebukking in honor of the Christmas goat.

3. Investigate Yuletide customs from other countries.
 And then you can incorporate them into your Christmas traditions! Try julebukking or putting out shoes for Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas and his horse visit Dutch and Belgian children on Dec. 5 (that's the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas) and leave candy and small gifts in shoes the children set next to the door. Some children leave presents of carrots or apples for Sinterklaas' horse, maybe your kids would like to do that, too.

4. Make your own Christmas cards.
To send a homemade holiday greeting, use blank cards and envelopes, photos, stickers, and felt-tip markers. Then make a list of people who touched you in a positive way this year, and send them a card with a note expressing your gratitude tucked inside. And think about people from your past that you might want to touch base with again; you can often Google their addresses, if you don't already know them. Send them a note and a card. Renew your friendship for Christmas!

5. Remember people less fortunate than you.
It’s nice to include them in your Christmas traditions. Many stores put up an "angel tree" decorated with tags bearing the names of needy children and what they would like for Christmas. Choose several; helping makes your heart feel good. Another way to spread cheer is to make small gifts or cookies, then pack up your kids and visit an assisted living or nursing home. Take cookies or fudge to a shut-in neighbor. Help an elderly neighbor put up her Christmas lights. Pack a basket of food to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner and donate to a family in need. Volunteer to help serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter. Bake and deliver goodies to those who have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, like nurses, firemen and policemen. Call an animal rescue and ask for their wish list; most rescues need lots of stuff.

These are just a few suggestions. Next week we'll have more. And if you have traditions to share, leave a comment. Uzzi and I want to know!     

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Christmas Traditions - Part 1

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Reader Comments
Kamia, we LOVE cedar! We strip cedar trees up as far as we can reach.

Our "cedar" trees are officially called redcedars (one word) and they're a actually a variety of juniper, if that makes sense. They grow all over the Ozarks and Mom says they even grew as far North as Minnesota.

They're kind of stickery but very tasty!
Martok, Mammoth Spring, AR
Posted: 12/6/2011 4:06:07 PM
Goats eat cedar trees? Then I guess if I get any goats, the trees growing along the fence line will be stripped bare? Good to know.
Kamia, 2000 Cow, 200 people land, MO
Posted: 12/5/2011 5:27:33 PM
Great traditions!
Holda, Coatesville, PA
Posted: 12/5/2011 10:32:49 AM
Tis the season!
Kelly, Fairgrove, MI
Posted: 12/2/2011 7:34:42 PM
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