Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Christmas Farm


Unless I grow our own, we buy our Christmas tree at the same farm every year, Foxes'. The Foxes bought the farm in the 1930s and raised hogs and it's now being farmed by the third and fourth generations. (Personally, I'm glad they aren't farming hogs anymore, though. The smell could get pretty pungent when the wind blew toward my house. The smell of money, my dad called it.)


This is what the farmhouse looks like today. If you look carefully you can still see the boxy prairie farmhouse at the back and the gingerbread additions on the front.


Every single window, and the whole yard, is filled with Christmas, music, and lights.






Christmas figures are life-sized, and putting them out is a Thanksgiving weekend project for grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, kids, and now another generation of the Fox kids' kids, the great grandchildren. You can see the family all out there day and night starting on Thanksgiving. By Sunday night the lights are turned on.


People drive down from The Cities (Minneapolis and St Paul) and all around the area to see and photograph the display lit up at night. On weekend nights there can be a traffic jam on the country road.





Santas, carolers, reindeer, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, toy soldiers, wise men . . .










. . . and my grandsons' favorite, the Grinch.

One year my daughter's family Christmas card photo featured a twin on either side.














Around back is where the trees are. Some are stuck in the snow outside, some are in a pole barn. This old shed holds the wreaths and boughs to make your own wreaths or swags.







Grandma and Grandpa collect vintage Santas and they are everywhere. Most are from the 1940 and 1950s. This one is almost 5 feet tall.








You might wonder where my Christmas tree is. I didn't buy one. The ones they had left the first week of December were too big to get home, too big for my house, and too pricey to cut to size. I'll have to make do with one of my own, which are really either too big or too small also, but free.

Note: You might wonder what some of the comments on this post are talking about. Somehow this afternoon my previous post disappeared and the comments from that post attached themselves to this one. Thank you for another mystery, Blogger!


  1. I'll come shopping with anyone as long as they don't expect me to pay. What on earth are those two stone carvings supposed to be anyway?

    1. Bird + lion = ? I have no idea!
      I think the stone is native to the area as there is still a quarry nearby.

  2. I enjoyed coming shopping with you. It is so interesting seeing the everyday world of others.

  3. I love to see shops from around the world, a great insight. A great butchers shop.

  4. Well I enjoyed the ride with you. Those stone carvings are weird! I remember the excitement of driving around to look at houses decorated for Christmas.

  5. What a beautiful day for a drive - thanks Cynthia. I loved the commentary too.

  6. Cythia it is an interesting post because I can see your landscape. It is very nice and completely diffeent from mine. My is typicaly urban. I am surprised the cattle is outside in winter. At my place they are in the farm. The shopa look nice and neat..

  7. Cynthia, thanks for the ride along. And I'll check out the tree event tomorrow as well. The landscape looks much like where I grew up in Illinois Farm country. My brothers fields are all harvested now and laying idle. He's probably busy doing some maintenance work or building something.

  8. That's such a pretty country farmhouse. I'd love to see it all lit up for Christmas! That must be western Minnesota? We're hillier here in NW Wisconsin. It must give the farmers a good feeling when their crop is all harvested. We have a lot of corn still standing in the fields here. I did see someone combining this afternoon though. I guess unless the snow is too deep, they can still get to it. Sorry you left Wisconsin. ;-) We are a long way from your hometown, though, and only 2 hours NE from Mpls.

  9. Very interesting post, mate.
    Photo #1: All enlarged for better viewing. Looks like Hereford x Angus cattle at a feed bin.
    Photo #4. Herefords and Black Angus in a paddock. As both these breeds are originally from the UK (where it does
    snow etc.) they are adaptable to your weather. The beef of either is just so mouth watering - can taste it just looking!!
    None of this vegetarian in my "genes" !!!
    Here Herefords and Angus (Red and Black) are now crossed with the Brahmans for the warmer areas - thus we have Branfords and Brangus breeds for the less green grassed pastures - out west and north. Again meat delicious.

    Interesting carvings??? A mixture of Stonehenge (UK), Easter Island - a Chilean possession in the Pacific
    and your native Indian Totem poles.

    Your butcher shops are totally different to here. Yours seem to be all packed - supermarket style.
    Here the meat is refrigerated and displayed on the front counters and your can take cuts of your desired size off it.
    Nothing in case you wonder is wasted - the leftovers just become - MINCE! And excellent mince it is.

    Love the US version of the back of a car - TRUNK. Here it is 'the BOOT'.
    I suppose - no idea really - if something goes wrong in the back of the vehicle - then you can use
    your "boot" to display your displeasure etc etc. Like the expression - "Give the bloody thing a good kick
    up the boot" - ha ha!
    Aussie Col

    PS; 90% for rain but at almost 1.00 pm (Thursday 4th) I can't see this happening soon - just lovely typical summer "saunaville".
    Still the first 4 days of summer - the temperature drops at night - sleeping is still a "blessing" - but for how much more????

    1. Just a typical Aussie extra - can't help myself!!!!
      "A kick up the TRUNK" - nah - "A kick up the BOOT" sounds far better and with a bit more authority
      for your possible sore foot and leg that was used - ha ha!
      Aussie Col

  10. Those stone carvings are very strange in that farming landscape! Looks cold and wintry there.

  11. I think one of my favorite shots is the open field with the cut corn and really great, open view!

  12. Interesting regarding the carvings, sounds a bit of a mystery. The house would look wonderful with the lights, would be lovely to see at dusk. Nice to know you took your children there and as you say, lovely memories. The butchers is very different to ours..

  13. Love the drive around there with you and see the landscapes of your neighbourhood.

  14. I love places like this! Good luck with your tree. I say free is best :-)

  15. Fascinating post, pictures and interesting blog. I always enjoy running across fellow Minnesotans blogs and being a retired teacher myself......My wife and I grew up in St. Paul and met teaching in a small town in Fillmore County where we stayed and raised a family. I blog mostly nature interests, hiking our dog, and book reviews. Stop by sometime....;)

  16. Now I am going to be wicked! The Blame game - who or what??
    The FBI, the CIA, that wicked mob called ISIL - nah - I think Mickey Mouse or that Donald Duck??? Walt Disney "baby" - you bloody interfering mischief maker. This is a serious blog so bug off.

    As one of our "illustrious Prime Ministers", said - Malcolm Fraser - PM 1975-1983 - his only words of wisdom in that period and now Aussie folklore - "Life wasn't meant to be easy". And thus he spoke to us and we listened ( very biblical - don't you think?).
    Americans may recall him as the PM who "lost his pants in a Memphis hotel". Never been found out why - strange???

    Canadians may remember him as the PM who on a state visit arrived in the Canadian Capital - only to have the streets lined with KIWI (NZ) flags.
    Malcolm was NOT amused. Nor were any Australians. I think the KIWIS ( across the "ditch") had a field day of laughing themselves sick!
    I suspect a combined "Kanuk/Kiwi" conspiracy!!!!

    Strange as it may seem - since losing office and being a well paid ex-PM, Malcolm has improved in mind and body - not 100%!! - but an almighty 1000%. His intelligence has returned and he supports the Republican push for Australia.
    And for those you are not aware - this does not mean leaving the Commonwealth.

    Now listen here - Walt "baby" or Billy Gates or whoever - restore Cynthia's blog to correction - PRONTO.
    I have spoken!
    I am not having my cattle and butcher shop comments muddled up with Cynthia's latest on Minnesota Christmas trees!!

    Aussie Col

  17. That looks like a fun place to go. Thanks for sharing your day. I may need to take my teen housemate for a drive thais weekend to see the farm.

  18. So festive! I can see why people like to go there with their cameras!

  19. I am so enjoying seeing your northern hemisphere Christmas. It seems so olde worlde. I have just filled our fireplace with Christmas lights to give the effects as we swelter in 28 degrees (84 F) with humidity ++.

  20. Now that looks like a great place to spend an afternoon or evening as it turns dark:)

  21. That's an astonishing place. Some folk go to a lot of trouble to decorate even private houses over here - often for charity. but you need decent space for full-size figures!