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My gifts to you this Christmas

Progressive Dairy Editor Karen Lee Published on 27 November 2019

The English proverb “good things come to those who wait” is probably repeated often this time of year as little ones (and some big people, too) get caught up in the excitement of the Christmas season.

Our first snow came early this year. As my 5-year-old child looks out over the white landscape, she keeps asking if this is the night we get presents. If she actually knew how much longer she has to wait, I think she’d be devastated.



Interestingly, a study by Dr. Jan Peters while at the department of systems neuroscience at the University Medical Centre in Hamburg, Germany, has found this proverb to be true. Results of the study showed a person’s decision to delay or seek an instant reward was based on their prediction of the success of each outcome. Furthermore, the more hints provided about the future outcome, the more the participants opted for longer-term choices.

If only we could all know (or at least get hints) about what the future holds, perhaps patience would be easier to come by.

As I think of so many dairy producers this holiday season, I know your well of patience is probably running dry. The 2019 cropping season was far more naughty than nice. I can still look out my window to see snow-covered standing corn. The reports I’ve heard of places too wet to plant, lodged crops from hurricanes, immature crops heading into fall, a harvest impeded by an early winter, feed storages left empty and manure storages hitting critical mass all make me wonder: What can possibly be done at this point in time? Can good things still come to those who wait?

One of my favourite parts of Christmas is that the holiday elicits cheer. No matter the circumstances, there is usually something to bring out a brief smile or happy thought. So even if I can’t physically fix what has happened in the field this year and the results that will be incurred over the next several months, I can give you these three gifts.

  • Perspective – God’s blessings still surround you. Despite the challenges you are facing today, consider all of the gifts God has graced you with. In this season, we also think of his greatest gift, his only Son.

  • Hope – The celebration of the arrival of our Lord and Saviour is a reminder of the hope that exists for all mankind. Focus your heart on Jesus and trust that He will see you through. Find a way to bottle up all of the hope in the air this holiday season to have during any dark times ahead.

  • Joy – With the right perspective and plenty of hope, my wish is that you find joy as well. To have joy is to have the capacity to rejoice in life. It requires the ability to accept the life you’ve been given. God readily bestows the gift of joy to those who are open to receive it.

Please don’t wait to accept these gifts. They aren’t going to solve your cropping or feed problems, but I believe they will give you strength and patience until the next growing season.


May your Christmas be a joyous one for you and your family.  end mark

Karen Lee