Friday, December 23, 2011

Balancing Farm & Family during the Holidays

I've often joked that one advantage to dairy farming is that I have a legitimate built-in excuse to avoid going to my in-laws' house over the Holidays.  And while I say that lightheartedly, it really is very difficult to balance the demands of the dairy farm with all of the different family gatherings happening this time of year. Here's how my weekend schedule is shaping up:

Christmas Eve (Saturday, December 24)
3:00-7:00am: dairy chores
7:00-9:00am: breakfast, shower, spend too much time on the computer, maybe a nap
9:00-11:00am: travel to my inlaws' house (my wife & kids have been there since Thursday night)
11:00am-3:00pm: eat lots of food, exchange gifts, hope everything's running smoothly on the dairy
3:00-5:00pm: travel back to Lamar County
5:00-6:00pm: Christmas Eve Communion Service at church 
6:00-9:00pm: Supper and gifts at home
9:00-who knows?pm: Ho, Ho, Ho.

Christmas Day (Sunday, December 25)
3:00-7:00am: dairy chores
7:00-10:30am: breakfast, shower, unsuccessfully try to nap while the kids play with toys
10:30-11:30am: Christmas Day Worship Service at church
11:30-1:00pm: skip my aunt's Christmas lunch so I can pass out from exhaustion
1:00-5:00pm: dairy chores
5:00-8:00pm: eat leftover dressing from Thanksgiving (ah, the miracle of deep freezers!) at my parents' house

The Day after Christmas (Monday, December 26)
5:00-6:30am: dairy chores (yes, I'm sleeping in)
6:30-8:00am: nap???
8:00am-1:00pm: family Christmas brunch and gift exchange at my parents' house
1:00-5:00pm: dairy chores, and everything's back to normal

Of course, my schedule is subject to change if we get a call that we have heifers out, a cow needs assistance delivering a calf, or some other unforeseen (but not surprising) farm issue should arise. But somehow, someway, I'm going to enjoy time with both sides of the family, eat too much, and still find time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas without missing much time on the farm.

Please enjoy the following little bit of holiday cheer and, from my family to yours, have a "dairy" Merry Christmas!

***update, Fri., 12/23, 12:30pm:
Our two regularly scheduled weekend workers have expressed that they intend to work all four weekend shifts, so that will thankfully take a little bit of pressure off of me & Dad. Merry Christmas to us!


Randy Watson said...

It'll never work out this smoothly. Ha ha! Sorry, bu I can't resist...


Steph said...

Our Christmas sounds a lot like your Christmas, except at least we only have to work at the chicken houses in the morning. That is, if nothing tears up, lol. Christmas Eve here with my parents, Christmas morning here after we work the chickens, be in Oxford at my grandmothers by 11, be back here by 5:30 at the inlaws, then day after Christmas we eat lunch with some extended family. I need a vacation.