Christmas is almost here and my husband and I are very excited. We will have 4 days of Christmas vacation starting on December 24th. Of course, like a lot of farmers, "vacation" only means that we will have the time between milking chores free to spend with family and friends. We still have to spend the 3 hours in the morning and the 3 hours at night feeding, milking and bedding our cows to keep them healthy and happy. The hours between chores in the winter are usually filled up with other types of work, such as cutting and spliting the firewood for our maple sugaring operation, repairing broken equipment, or plowing snow. However, on our "vacation days" we don't do any work between chores. So the word "vacation" means something a lot different to us than it means to people who work at an off-the-farm job. Yet our "vacations" are just as fun to us as they are to everyone else!

Christmas on the farm is also a very spiritual time for us. Milking the cows on Christmas Eve is a wonderful experience. Being in our rustic old barn, seeing our contented cows munching hay from their mangers, and listening to the Christmas carols on the radio brings us the feeling of peace and joy that surround this season. And as we leave the barn after chores are done, and go out into the peaceful frosty night and look up at the northern star, we feel the magic of Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2012!

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