Holidays Growing Up on the Willis Family Farm

stamping-paper-Dec-1024x768 Growing up, we wrapped all of our Christmas presents in newspaper. My mother insisted for several reasons:

  1. It was cheaper than buying wrapping paper
  2. It was an easy way to recycle the newspaper cutting down on waste
  3. It was fun

You might think it wouldn’t be as beautiful, but we take pride in decorating our newspaper. We make it really special by stamping our own Christmas designs all over. We created our own stamper by carving potatoes. I usually carved a Christmas tree or snowman. This is still a good idea – Sophia loves doing crafts like this.


Potato-Stamp-DecInstead of purchasing decorations, I like to continue the tradition of using things found around the house to decorate for the holidays. Bringing the beauty found outdoors in nature inside for Christmas adds a special quality.

Decorations like pine cones are simply hung from our doorway or windowsills or even on the Christmas tree itself. As a family we have fun stringing together cranberries or popcorn to make garlands. And remember paper chains? These are still fun activities especially if you have little ones.

wrapped-present-1024x741Pigs seem to enjoy the changing seasons as they root around in the snow. I love visiting with our neighbors who raise pigs for Niman Ranch and share stories of country Christmas traditions.

A lot of folks in Iowa head south once winter arrives but farmers with animals don’t have that luxury; they have to be home to tend to their animals. In many ways it’s nice because the rest of the family usually comes back to the farm for the holidays.

Wishing you all a beautiful holiday with your family! May it be cozy and bright.


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