Christmas on the farm always arrived in great anticipation for me and my brothers. I don’t think any of us realized until we moved away from the farm just how dirt poor we really were! I dare say that all of us wouldn’t trade those years for anything. We often had cousins visit to whom the farm was a wondrous place that they knew nothing about! And, being a bit onry, we sometimes took advantage of that.
One thing we learned from always having various livestock was how to handle – and respect – electric fences. In those days an electric fence consisted of a single strand of wire (sometimes two wires one above the other) stretched and hung on posts with ceramic insulators (later they were plastic) to which the wire attached. The “electric” came from a 12 volt auto battery hooked to the “fencer” to which that single strand of wire attached. That fencer had the electronics in it that would send out a jolt or charge in a steady rhythm, and that jolt would turn sheep or cattle and other critters from crossing the fence or crawling under it when they touched it. Again, as I recall (from a boy’s perspective) the electric fence wire was about 3 to 4 feet from the ground, depending on what livestock it was meant to contain. But there was never any danger of being electrocuted because although the jolt was strong, there was not enough amperage to endanger life.
Anyway, we also learned that if you held another persons hand and grabbed that electric fence THEY would feel most of the jolt, and not you! We pulled that on our “city cousins” more than once. I remember you could do that with 3 or 4 people, and the last one always got zinged!
Now decorating the Christmas tree is something I’ve been thinking about, and there’s been too many years pass. But one thing I do remember is the bubble lights.
I thought they were the neatest thing on the planet! After turning them on, in a few minutes they warmed up, and the bubbles would start traveling up the candle-like stem from the bowl. I have no idea what the liquid was inside them in those days, but for a long time I don’t think you could get them, and now you can, and there are still some “vintage” bubble lights out there for sale.
And then there was the icicle tinsel:
I believe there were a lot of bird nests made using some of this stuff that was left on discarded Christmas trees! I don’t think garland even existed then (we never had it), but some ornaments, bubble lights, and this tinsel made for a great-looking tree! Fit for putting Christmas presents under!!
On Christmas morning when we came downstairs, the bubble lights were bubbling, the tinsel was glittering, the presents were under the tree waiting to be opened – and Christmas on the farm was again a success, making memories in the mind of a young boy (and his brothers). Poor? Maybe. Blessed? Exceptionally.
I pray you and yours be blessed even more this Christmas and in the new year.