Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: The Christmas Letter

I should be writing my annual Christmas letter. It’s among the tasks sitting at the top of the pre-Christmas to-do list. Recapping the year for family and friends, far and wide.

It will probably go a little something like this.

First and foremost are the kids. Their ages, years in school, and so on. Rounded out with stories and accomplishments for both. One example being when the oldest lost to the youngest at fair this year. It came as quite a shock, considering the oldest won Champion Gilt last year, and with innocent childhood naivety, just knew he would win again. The sibling rivalry is mounting as we head into 2023, and I am here for it. My husband is going to have his work cut out for him getting all the show pigs into the sale, and out of his wife and kid’s clutches.

If you are communicating in any way as a farmer/rancher, it is an unwritten rule that you include at least a bit about the weather. Preferably a lot. Mine will be sure to mention that wind has been the word of the last two years when it comes to weather. As I write this we are in day three of a nasty blizzard. Not because of a high volume of snow, but because of the unrelenting wind. Everyone is tired of the wind. We would all love to get some moisture that doesn’t come with what feels like a hateful vengeance.

People will lament over each other’s weather, and compare and contrast, until the next year’s letter arrives.

Right after the weather recap is a nice spot to let folks know what we grew. In our case, that we had better grass than last year, but no hay whatsoever. Feed reserves are gone. All grain crops were hayed or chopped.

By this point, I typically have to go back and condense things enough to squeeze in that my husband is still very involved in the fire department, and I still run the meat business and write a bi-weekly column.

From there we print, stuff envelopes, and off in the mail our annual update goes. Except for the 2-3 that randomly disappear, then resurface again in about April. An odd phenomenon that came with children.

In return, we gain some excellent reading material in the form of other’s Christmas letters. They run the gamut from short (how some of you managed to eloquently put your update on a card in a single paragraph is beyond me) to long, fun to serious, vague to packed with every detail. Gained and lost loved ones. Miracles and tragedies. Things that have changed and things that have remained the same.

While sometimes challenging to squeeze into the December workload, regardless of when they get sent, know that we sure enjoying receiving and reading them each year.


The Maude family