Well that’s it, it’s all over for another year. My jeans are definitely tighter, the bags under my eyes are definitely bigger and I’ve eat and drank enough to make me ready for a serious New Year’s detox…….whenever that may be!
My first farming Christmas is done!
And for me, it’s been a funny old time really, completely different to the festive season I’m used to.
In the depths of the winter routine, Christmas could easily get lost in all the mud and daily chores that take place in the world of farming if you let it. Unlike the corporate Christmases which I’m used to, you don’t get any time off – a slow down on the run up to the festivities, Christmas jumper day and lots of Christmas parties to dress up for. Oh and bank holidays – what’s that!
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, the day before that, and the day after that and so on – work wise, are all the same.
Actually I tell a lie, in some respects they’re busier, as you look to double feed where you can, to save yourself some time the next day. And you do as much as you can to finish early and prepare ahead.
I spent Christmas Eve for example bagging up three days worth of corn in my Santa’s hat so I didn’t have to do it on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We scrapped out all of the sheds that day too and made a visit to our off-land to check on our cattle there to save us a trip on the big day.
We actually debated attending Christingle Service in our wellies and overalls we were that busy on Christmas Eve, but I’m glad to confirm we managed a quick turnaround at home before heading to our local Church. Then our local social club for a glass of Christmas fizz.
Luckily we didn’t have any issues with our livestock to attend to over the festive period, and none of our machinery broke down – a common curse of farming at Christmas so I’m told.
So for us it was business as usual and we were able to enjoy some wonderful down-time celebrating with Ed’s family and friends in true farmer style, with our own produce as the centre piece of our Christmas Day lunch – beef wellington of course!
Opening presents which contained all the farmers essentials – new waterproof and insulated gloves, pen knives, woolly socks and hats, sturdy water bottles and nice toiletries to help us feel clean and fresh again at the end of day. All of which we were delighted with! (Oh how times have changed!)
And receiving numerous calendars from our suppliers, another common practice in agriculture so I’ve learnt.
To ensure we really got in the Christmas mood, our tea breaks were filled with mince pies and Cornish clotted cream – a Christmas tradition I am considering taking in to the New Year with me.
And I got asked by my friend if we did anything Christmasy for our cattle – if this counts then yes……..
And we made sure that we had an ‘office party’ to get us in to the festive spirit and to celebrate all of our hard work throughout the year too which was really good fun.
And Christmas hats and some tinsel around the farm became compulsory!
Working at Christmas for the first time, definitely made me stop and think about all of the other professions working on Christmas Day too. My Auntie is a hospice care nurse for example, who I know was at work, like many other people up and down the country who deserve a massive shout out for the incredible work they do.
I used to think working at Christmas would ruin it, but it doesn’t at all. In fact, I think it makes you appreciate it even more. You really value the quality time you get with your nearest and dearests and there is something rather fun about forking in the silage for the cattle by starlight post a few Christmas ports!
With farming, comes great responsibility and commitment, something which I’m embracing but I’m still getting used to and I guess it really hit home to me this Christmas that you don’t have the freedom to just take time off or come and go as you please. Something I definitely took for granted in the past.
I say that because whilst I’ve done everything I can to get in the Christmas mood this year, for me it hasn’t been quite the same as I haven’t seen my side of the family for some festive cheer.
I’m pleased to say though, that we’ve already booked in for them all to come and stay here in Cornwall next year on the farm, so we can spend Christmas celebrating together! I have images of Dad helping us drive the tractor on Christmas morning in his Santa hat and my sister helping to fork in with her reindeer ears, but we’ll see!
There’s no doubt, that however your Christmas played out for you this year, it’s a special time of the year. The first of many for me on the farm. I hope you all had a good one, filled with love, laughter and Christmas cheer.
Now what’s everyone got planned for the New Year?!
As always thanks for reading.