Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Homestead Christmas December 23, 2015

We haven’t always celebrated Christmas.  In fact, it has only been in recent years that we even got a small tree.  A local shop owner saw our daughter admiring the little artificial tree. She and I  talked about how pretty it was, not knowing that the owner overheard us. As we left, he came out carrying a box.  He said that we had forgotten something.  To our delight, he placed the tree in our trunk.

The main reason for not celebrating was due to the holiday being so commercial. It was all about the gifts, not the religious story.  People routinely go into debt trying to buy the perfect gift.  It just didn’t feel right.

After having the kids, we made the decision to celebrate.  The compromise for us was that we limit the gifts.  We also teach the kids to make their gifts.  This one simple thing helps teach children to give of their time and talents to others.

The little ones are ages 9 and 7 years old this season.  With a little guidance, Little Miss chose a project to make for Daddy.  She wanted to make him something that he can take onto the truck with him.  It was a simple project to complete but very useful.  Little Man needed more help with his gift to Daddy.  Mostly due to his lack of fine motor development.  He had fun with it though.

Giving homemade gifts whenever possible has become a family tradition.  We also limit the number of gifts.  In doing this, the kids are much more appreciative of what they receive.

The Christmas tree has a few secondhand ornaments.  Gradually, we are adding handmade ornaments to it each year.  A new thing added to the tree this year also was battery powered little lights.  We found those at Hobby Lobby.

Having a simple Christmas has been a blessing. We can focus on the meaning of the holiday without all the stress and hoopla that other families face.  We can use it as a time to serve others and give of ourselves in remebrance of Christ giving of Himself for us.  It is also an opportunity to teach the kids that it isn’t all about than, but learn to enjoy the giving to others.

I love how we celebrate Christmas. It is so much more peaceful and enjoyable for our family.  I pray that others can enjoy the holiday as that celebrate with their families.

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Early Blessings December 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — ourprairiehome @ 5:30 pm
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What a crazy few months!  Running the homestead while hubby is out on the truck has been an adjustment.  I have been getting the house ready for winter.  Firewood is being delivered a pickup truck load at a time so that we have the wood needed for the winter season.  So far the temps have been mild, but I am not holding my breath.  Back when Little Miss was a toddler, we had a very mild start to winter only to have a blizzard on Christmas Eve.

This weekend, I am putting plastic up on the windows to help keep an drafts out.  Even with double-pane windows, sometimes the cold can sneak in.  Putting the plastic up will help prevent that.

A neighbor got an extra deer this past season.  They brought to me the meat from a large buck.  I roasted it all up and cut into stew meat before pressure canning the entire thing.  Now, I have a pantry shelf loaded with venison to use throughout the winter months and into spring.

Once the daytime temps are consistently staying down in the 35-50 degree range, I will be buying a 50# bag of russet potatoes.  These will stay fresh and not grow sprouts all winter long.

I am buying a few sweet potatoes this week to allow to grow sprouts.  The sprouts are allowed to grow to be about 6 inches long.  Once they are long enough, I carefully break them off of the sweet potatoes and set them into a jar of water to grow roots.  By spring, I will have a good size batch of sweet potato slips to plant into the garden.