Christmas Traditions – Part 2

Last week, we talked about a few new holiday traditions you may not observe on your farm. Here are more to try.

by Martok
Pony wearing Christmas wreath
Photo by Sue Weaver
At Christmas, my Mom and Dad make wreathes, and we animals like to wear them. It’s so festive!

Last week, we talked about a few new holiday traditions you may not observe on your farm. Here are more to try.

1. Bake cookies!
Set aside a family cookie-baking day and let everyone help cut out and decorate cookies. Or plan a cookie party for a few of your friends. Ask each guest to bring their favorite cookie recipe and a dozen cookies for each participant to take home, plus a few extra cookies for sampling. Furnish beverages and mugs for cookie dunking. Yum!

2. Bring the scent of Christmas to your home.
Burn pine incense—that’s what Mom and Dad do. Or try our Grandma’s recipe: Place 4 cups of water in a pot on the stove, and add three cinnamon sticks, 1 tablespoon of whole cloves, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and peelings from two oranges. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat (or set the pot on your woodstove, like Mom and Dad do) so the contents barely simmer. Be sure to check periodically to make certain the pot doesn’t go dry. Turn off the burner when you go to bed or leave home.  

3. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
Buy or borrow 12 children’s books about Christmas and read one to your kids each night, beginning on Dec. 12 and ending on Christmas Eve. You can also borrow or rent 12 favorite Christmas movies and view one each evening.

4. Attend free holiday performances.
Watch your local newspaper or call your local chamber of commerce for dates and times of holiday performances throughout the community.

5. Help your children write a letter to Santa Claus.
Send it to:

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North Pole
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

In the meanwhile, write a letter to your child as though you were Santa. Place the letter in a first-class stamped envelope addressed to your child, with the return address: Santa, North Pole. Place that stamped envelope in a larger stamped envelope addressed to:  

North Pole Postmark
4141 Postmark Dr
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

Mail it no later than Dec. 10 and the Anchorage post office will mail it from Santa for you. This is part of Operation Santa, a program the U.S. Post Office sponsors this time of year. They’ve been doing it since 1912, when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to open and respond to letters addressed to Santa Claus. Nowadays “postal elves” sort the letters and single out requests expressing genuine need. Then individuals and organizations adopt those letters, purchase requested gifts and the USPS ships them to the child’s home. A pretty neat program, don’t you think?

6. Craft homemade garland.

Use pine, nuts, fruit and maybe greeting cards to hang on your tree or mantel. (Also check out Hobby Farm‘s link-garland templates.) You more advanced crafters can make your own Christmas wreaths. Next week, we’ll show you how!

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