“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder was on to something, don’t you think? Doesn’t Christmas take you back to being a kid again? Softening our hearts and rejuvenating our soul, it makes us trust and believe there is good in this world.
A few weeks back, we asked you what your favorite holiday tradition is, and you delivered! We may not have a chance to reply to all comments, but you can bet we read them. You invited us into your homes, sharing some amazing moments with us, and we’re so grateful. There was a consistent theme of the traditions shared, many of which your Standlee family relates to, that your family and animals mean the world to you! You make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside with your fun stories, like we’re kicked back, relaxed and roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Although marshmallows seem much more realistic, wouldn't you agree? Who roasts chestnuts on an open fire these days?!
To get us started, our CEO and President, Dusty Standlee, wanted to share his greatest holiday memories with you:
“My favorite pastime is going to my grandparents as a kid. We would have dinner and open gifts together late into the night. My parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and all of my cousins would be there, I’ll never forget those get togethers. Now, I have a young family and we are able to do the same thing with my parents, we take our kids over Christmas Eve and do the same tradition as we did when I was a kid (I am still a kid at heart). This elf on the shelf thing with my 4-year-old daughter is a blast also. His name is Alfie, and we can’t wait to see her expressions every morning!”
Let’s hear from you!
“For the past 14 years at my Full Moon Farm, we have made a tradition on New Year’s Day of taking a polar plunge into our pond and then all coming back in the house and enjoying a French-Canadian game dish (prepared night before and in oven for 12 hours) along with pot-luck sides, card games, puzzles, dominoes, banana gram and any other game a guest brings. We turn on the music and make a day if it! Lots of fun :)”
“I feed a herd of deer all year with Standlee Alfalfa Pellets. During winter many more deer arrive to yard in the forest nearby and come in for Standlee. There's a lot wildlife here besides deer. For the small wild critters I put a huge tray of nuts, seeds and fruit out in the forest away from the deer trails. Christmas morning I get to see what creatures enjoyed the Christmas treats. Sometimes it's scat, sometimes hair or foot prints in the snow and once an antler from a buck landed in the middle of the tray.”
- Joyce T.
“Cooking Christmas breakfast then going to look for any new calves born and if so they get Christmas names instead of a tag number.”
- Suzette J.
“Years ago we started using a nice white sheet as the holiday tablecloth. Everyone at the table would sign it, draw a picture, add a quote (with colored chalk) - whatever they felt like that year & date it. Afterwards I would embroider their contribution. It's fun looking back to see who was at the table in prior years & what they had to say during that period of their lives!”
- Nancy S.
“I'm happy to pass on one of my holiday tradition with my youngest daughter this year. Now that she is four years old she will join the other kiddos and I in the kitchen making peppermint horse treats. Christmas eve morning we all have fun making the kitchen a mess then stuffing the horses stockings. Although this is a simple gift everyone in the barn love the extra thought and the kids like to make them. Since my youngest was only three years old on Christmas we started a new tradition sir she really could not help cook the treats.
I put the horses names in jar and let all the kiddos (both mine and the ones We have custody of) pick a name. Lucky for me I've had the same amount of children as horses. Each child was given $25 to buy something for the horse they chose. Rules for the purchase; Must be FUN, cannot be a item for daily use and nothing that I have to buy anyways like wormer. The kids had a blast! The oldest boy found a goofy hat for himself and bought the material to make one for his horse to wear so "they matched". I loved seeing him have to think of a gift matching the rules and he had a blast crafting. The middle girl picked out glitter hoof polish that was in her favorite color. With the leftover money she bought things to make a new name plate. Although it did not make it to the barn since she "worked to hard for it to get dirty" she proudly displays it in her bedroom. My daughter who is the youngest bought a tee shirt with a horse looking like hers, pink grooming kit and she wrote a letter to Santa letting him know her horse has been good. I bought halters in the kids favorite color to give to the horses as an extra gift. Christmas day we put up the horses stockings and the kids opened the gifts with their horse. It really allowed the kids to feel involved not only with the horses but with the Christmas season. They all liked being reasonable to buy gifts for our four legged family..... hope everyone's Christmas traditions leave a smile on your face!”
- Rebecca B.
Why yes, Rebecca… we’re over here, smiling from ear to ear. Because, well, you know, smiling is our favorite!
May your hearts and bellies be full, and your New Year blessed! Merry Christmas from your family here at Standlee Premium Western Forage®.