Staying lit for the season

By Stephanie Strothmann

Who still has Christmas lights up?

Oh I know, diehards that say Christmas lights need to come down Dec. 26 I’m sure are cringing at what I’m about to say in this week’s article, but I have to say that since I’ve had my own place, I’ve always struggled with taking the lights and decorations down, even on epiphany (12 days after Christmas).

As a child, I know my mom would always see how long she could wait to take the tree down, and I do remember one year it being Feb. 14 before she finally, reluctantly, started to take the shaggy broomstick tree down and put it back into its box to rest in the nonclimate-controlled atmosphere of our house’s attic.

When I was younger (before those awkward teenage years), I thought it was cool that our front window still had the glow of colored lights in it, and as I got older, it just became “embarrassing.” How dare my mom embarrass me by having a Christmas tree in the front window when she should know that everyone else was being responsible and taking theirs down when they were supposed to.

BF, before farm, I would decorate my home as elaborately as possible. Lots of decorations, ranging from modern to pieces that belonged to my mom’s mother, that I carefully placed behind viewing doors that would hopefully shield them from any harm while they were on display during the weeks of the holiday celebration.

AF, after farm, I’ve been lucky to get a wreath on the chicken run and maybe a string of lights here and there.

This year, I had the new little coop that was purchased in 2020 that I decided to string Christmas lights on — Snoopy doghouse style. The lights served two purposes: One, they were decorative and festive in an otherwise drab, brown landscape, and two, they showed me that the electricity (which I have ran to that structure) is flowing.

The tiny breed chickens live in this coop, and they need a radiant heater to keep them warm on chilly evenings and also a heater to keep their water from freezing.

Once the lights were hung, I snapped a photo and posted it to the farm’s page. I had no idea that the little chicken coop would get such a warm response on social media. Minutes after posting the first picture of the little lighted coop, I had well more than 100 responses through either comments or emojis. One just never knows what’s going to pique the interest of viewers, and I guess the tiny chicken house was it.

Since I’ve put the lights on the coop during the first of December and taken the first photo, I had been waiting for that moment when snow would fall and I could get the shot I was looking for to capture for a future Christmas card. I finally got that moment Wednesday evening of this week.

I don’t know that I will take the lights down any time soon as we continue to work through the winter season, but it’s not harming anyone out in the field, and it certainly doesn’t “embarrass” me anymore.

We all could use a little light and joy in the cold, dark, winter months. I hope this little coop does that for the folks who drive past and wonder about the lights.

Until next time…

Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at Send comments to [email protected]