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It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving has already passed and that Christmas and the New Year is fast approaching. With that, this time of year can be filled with joy and happiness, but it can also bring a lot of added stress and commitments.
I believe that the top priority for this season is to spend quality time with those who mean the most to us, enjoy all of the times spent with them and make wonderful memories that last throughout the years. As society is ever-changing, it is inevitable that more emphasis is put on the retail aspect of the holidays and sometimes with that, it seems as if the true meaning and the family time behind it all is lost.
As a dairy farmer, the holiday season isn’t quite as chaotic on the farm as it is during plant and harvest, but still the twice-daily chores of milking and feeding need done. As a result of it being a slightly slower time of year for us, I try to incorporate as many family get-togethers, holiday parties and other holiday festivities into my schedule as possible.
Yes, this can lead to some long, busy days, which sometimes might turn out to be a little too packed, but overall, I try to make the most of each day and fill my days this time of year with things that bring me happiness. It may not seem like much, but in the evenings after chores, doing something as simple as getting my favorite Chick-fil-A takeout and driving around looking at Christmas lights with my fiance can be one of the best times of the season.
This season really doesn’t have to be about big gifts, and how much people spend on each other. In reality, spending time with those you love and care about, and doing small holiday-themed activities with them often brings so much more everlasting joy than anything that can be bought in a store.
As this season continues to peak, I challenge you to find some time to take for yourself, or to spend with those you care about, and go out and partake in some of the local holiday fun. Not only will these small events provide you with wonderful holiday experiences, but often, you will be supporting a local small business — maybe even a farm family like mine, as well.
Even when doing your holiday shopping this year, try to stay local. Go to small businesses, pop-up shops, or markets. At this type of place, not only are you more likely to find unique gifts, but they are often a better quality and help an individual reach their goals and dreams.
As a dairy farmer, I must throw in a family-favorite dairy-loaded holiday recipe for you to try.
Holiday Mashed Potatoes
3-5 pounds potatoes
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
After the potatoes have cooked, mash until smooth. Add cream cheese and butter in small pieces and blend well. Add sour cream. Mix milk with eggs, and add to the potatoes mixture. Add salt to taste.
Place in a greased casserole dish and refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes.
Submitted by Julie Holler, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.
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