Urban Farming

Christmas Eve Crisis

The Urban Farmer is having a Christmas Eve crisis. It’s been building for about a week. Starting with the Xmas card. Other years, she and Co-hab have done it the easy way and on the cheap. Whatever Xmas card boxes were on sale at Bartell’s, they bought. They were also fine using ups Xmas card leftovers from previous years. Nobody would mind getting the same card two or three years running.

But then the aunt from Yakima started sending hand water-colored cards (first a poinsettia, then a snowman with paintbrush—of course painted by the aunt herself)


The aunt from Yakima’s hand-painted snowman with paintbrush.

and the brother-in-law started sending hand-painted cards—one year a lamb, another an X tree.


The Brother-in-law’s hand-painted Xmas tree card.

The cousin from Kiel also started sending home-made—hand-cut and embroidered stars, cross-stitched Tannenbaeume—completely home-made,


The Kiel cousin’s hand-crafted Xmas star.

and the friend sent the one page essay detailing the how and why of her Xmas angel collection,

Lorelie's Xmas Letter

The friend’s Angels of Xmas Photos to go with Angels of X essay.

and The Urban Farmer hasn’t even gotten to the younger sister’s highly anticipated Xmas letter or the witticisms added to the card sent from the piano-playing, Rhode Island brother-in-law.


witticisms added to X card from piano-playing Rhode Island Brother-in-law.

You get the idea. The Urban Farmer and Co-hab needed to up their game. Bartell’s might be fine for other people, but for them it wouldn’t do.
So they got creative. One year they cut out the center from a cardboard box, affixed favorite Xmas cards around its perimeter and had the next door neighbor take a photo with Urban Farmer and Co-hab stuck inside the “picture frame.”


Urban Farmer and Co-hab “framed” by Xmas cards.

Last year they did a plain photo card. This year that was the plan, too, but then they decided to write an Xmas letter to go with. The photo part was fairly straightforward. The X letter—trouble.

How to re-cap a year, much less a month, and jam cram it onto a sheet of 8 and ½ x 11? Before she knew it, the Urban Farmer was re-capping the year in hikes, starting with the one in April with the Yakima aunt

Jovial Hiker

The watercolorist, hiker aunt from Yakima.

and going through Sept’s Rainy Pass—Cutthroat Pass—Cutthroat Lake Loop hike.


Rainy Pass–Cutthroat Pass Hike–ascending to Cutthroat Pass.

No, Urban Farmer, no. Too much about hikes. Xmas letters are all about the overview—brevity’s the thing—sandwiched between wishes of good tidings, health, and happiness.

Time passed. The Urban Farmer woke up and the lo! ‘twas Xmas Eve. Pies needed baking. Lamb needed stewing. Potatoes needed peeling. Songs needed singing. Neighbors needed visiting. Guests needed welcoming.
So. That is as far as the Urban Farmer is getting on her Xmas letter. She and Co-hab wish you a happy and healthy holiday and much love, peace, and joy in the New Year. Now, please excuse her while she pulls a pie from the oven.


Huckleberry pie for Xmas Eve din-din. Not perfect, but… c’est la vie!


6 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Crisis

  1. Pingback: Christmas Eve Crisis | Neighbors North

  2. pmcmullen4888 says:

    Loved this. But I don’t recall getting the card with you two in a Xmas card frame.

    I hope that the Yakima aunt gets this post.

    Thanks again!


  3. Terry Intlekofer says:

    That is an amazing photo of the Cutthroat Pass hike. Your family is creative bigtime, almost aggressively so. This year for me it’s been all about giving myself permission to skip things year and not even feel guilty. Yet my mother’s centerpieces and decorations were lovely. Guilt Factor #47: I should be taking pictures of this stuff.


  4. karen says:

    Cutthroat Pass hike looks amazing! And hurrah for snail-mail cards! And, what kind of pie? Your musings re using cards from year-to-year apropos: one must remember to whom one sent which card! -k


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