Rural Legend

Seasonal appreciation, farm style

I know Christmas gift list ideas are a bit overrated here in internet world. We see them every year. You probably come across them via companies or click farms trying to push shopping ideas into your feed or because you have those one or two folks with some obscure career or interest so you resort to Googling “gift ideas for ___”

But this is something a little bit different, if you’ll just bear with me. One thing Christmastime is lauded for is taking a moment of gratitude and appreciation. This is goes beyond or immediate loved ones but into our colleagues, co-workers, allies and others in our circle.

Farmers have a lot of folks they genuinely appreciate and work with. But obviously, lavish fruit baskets and gift cards don’t exactly fit the budget more often than not.

However, farmers are a particular demographic that is ever resilient and thoughtful. I’ve heard and come up with some pretty great ones sure to please neighbors, sales reps, co-ops you name it.

Without further ado, I present you Jaclyn’s list of Seasonal Appreciation Gifts (See? Not pushing the “Christmas Gift Ideas for ___”). Farm style of course.

Handmade goods

This one seems entirely too obvious – but hold on! There’s a reason holiday cookies, jams and pies are timeless. They’re a gesture of goodwill, straight from the heart and practical. Not to mention, they’re low-cost and just usually fit the budget.

Here’s where farms can get real personal – making and gifting food items from their own products. In fact, I’d be willing to bet some of you reading are already experts at this.

Some examples might be…

  • Dairy: Anything cheese and crackers (if you aren’t a cheese maker yourself, cheese from your co-op or processor is close enough!), homemade eggnog, hot chocolate in a jar.
  • Fruit/Produce: Jams and jellies are always a winner, can never go wrong with jams and jellies. Apple butter, fruit pies and candied nuts are also fair game. I don’t think there’s many fruits or veggies you can’t arrange into a neat little basket.
  • Livestock: Packages or baskets of beef and pork never go out of style. You can spice these up with bottles of sauce and other fixings.
  • Other arrangements: These don’t necessarily need to be hand-produced – you can get very creative with a variety of gift baskets in all kinds of fun (and affordable) themes. Definitely worth the check on Pinterest!

Ornaments

I think ornament gifting should be more of a thing than it is. They’re particularly seasonal, simple and can add a nice personal touch. I always have fun browsing through all the farm-themed ornaments at the local Tractor Supply every holiday season – it just gets my creative Christmas decorative juices flowing!

With the advent of Etsy, it’s super easy to find ornaments that can be made to order for an affordable price. You can incorporate your farm name, pick designs and a whole bunch of other personal touches. Oh, and you can do it while supporting small businesses and local artists.

Holiday cards

Oh the classic holiday card. Love it or hate it, ink and paper cards will never go out of style even in our digitalized world. Here are some tips to making the most of them.

  • Customize: It’s so easy to snap a photo and run to Walmart and – lo and behold – you can print yourself out a nice set of original cards.
  • Newsletters: Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I have a special place in my heart for seasonal family newsletters. I think this can be expanded to include your farm/business’s year-end lowdown.
  • Family photos: I get why some people hate doing this, I really do. But this makes a really nice photographic family diary of how you all, and even your farm, has grown and changed from year to year. There’s no better way to make casual friends feel like part of the family than including one of these with your standard cards.

Farm freebies

Everyone loves a good freebie. If your farm is particularly proactive in promotional material, these definitely make nice little touches. Have a box of extra farm shirts from the 2020 fair season that never happened just sitting around? There you go!

Magnets, coffee mugs, coasters and even bottle openers are also fun and fairly affordable things you can jazz up. Plus, free advertisement. Great way to build rapport with companies and be sure they remember year.

Local flare

I’d be remise if I didn’t advise patronizing your fellow local and small businesses this year. I know it isn’t always the most cost-effective, but it’s rewarding knowing where your money goes.

There are a lot of little treasures you can get only found in your town. From artisan chocolates and coffees to handmade office gadgets you are sure to find something for at least some of the folks on your list.

And did I mention that local shopping is fun? At least from a woman’s perspective that is. But seriously, you never know what hidden gems might just be down the street. Antiques to the exotic to the flat out unusual – there’s no end to local magic.

Hopefully you found this helpful or at lest entertaining. Let me know what gift ideas I missed!

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