An unexpected white Christmas, an impromptu snowball fight, a Christmas eve spent with sudden rushing about to get the animals warm, get them dry spots to sleep and thaw out their water troughs before it got even colder into the night, scrounging for tarps to cover the hay and firewood, a moment in the middle of shoveling shavings where I felt guilty that this is how we’re spending Christmas eve when my daughter looks at me with sparkles in her eyes and says “mama, I feel like Almanzo on Christmas eve…this is so cool!”…(we recently read Farmer Boy in the Little House series), when I then started a cedar shaving fight in the stalls and called her “Almanza” and “Farmer Girl” which she just loved and… the moment I realized this was not such a bad way to spend the eve- like pioneers, hot cocoa REALLY appreciated afterwards, walking into a house with heat also really appreciated. A fourth-and probably final- attempt at making snow molassess candy, turning the leftover boiled molassess into a bran-oat-carrot mash to warm the horses. Definitely a day of reminders to not take things for granted. That’s for sure. Reminders that there is joy and magic even in hard work. If you just look through a child’s eyes. Appreciation for the gentle warmth of candles and modern appreciations such as those battery operated star twinkle lights. Just setting the right mood for some Christmas and solstice reading. T’was the night before Christmas…and what fun we had at the barn on a snowy Christmas eve….