One more week until it’s officially my most favourite time of the year!

Waiting until December 1 to truly get into the full Christmas spirit has been a family tradition since I was a young child. It’s not always easy though, especially once the first snowfall is here and Christmas music is playing in stores and on the radio.

“If music be the food of love, play on!” is one of my favourite quotes from Shakespeare and it is so appropriate for this time of year. Try as I might, I can never wait until December 1 to start belting out Christmas songs to the cows, or blasting it in my living room while I clean the house. It brings so much joy to my heart and helps me get through the tasks I sometimes find challenging to focus on long enough to finish.

The Christmas season is supposed to be a joyous time of year filled with lots of love, giving and kindness. But too often do we get caught up in the stress of the season and we forget the importance of being kind to others. We are strictly focused on making sure we buy the right gifts for the right people, getting Christmas baking started, decorations up, finding the perfect tree, and of course working enough hours to be sure you can afford to pay for all the holiday expenses.

Farmers stress because the snow always comes to early, whether we’ve had a beautiful fall or not. There’s always more that needs to get done, preferably before it freezes. Every year is the same, and yet those jobs still never getting done in time, adding to the stress of the season.

Everyone looks forward to a break over the holidays, but it seems impossible when the to do list is still miles long. Imagine how Santa must feel at this time of year with his biggest deadline fast approaching!

It is inevitable that we are all going to have to face the stresses of the season, whether we like it or not. How we decide to cope with these stresses is the more important part.

For me, music is a reminder to slow down and focus on the things that make me smile. Playing Christmas music on the piano was always a favourite activity of mine when I was younger. I rarely practiced any other time of the year, but when the time came to get out the Christmas music, I’d be sitting on that piano bench almost every day for a good month or more.

I missed the joy those times would bring to me, so this year I gave in and finally ordered myself an electric keyboard piano. Once again will be able to use music as an excuse to take a break and do something I love!

The excitement in my little farmer’s eyes when we opened the box and he realized it’s something he knew can make noise with, was heart warming. I look forward to sharing my love of music – especially Christmas music – with him this season.

The next time you hear your favourite song, whether it be a Christmas one or not, use it as a reminder to love yourself and others and to show kindness during this hectic time of year. Show appreciation for those who work long hours providing services such as custom work. They do their best to get around to all their clients – getting the rest of the crops off, the manure spread, or the ground worked before it is too frozen.

Remember we are all human. No one is perfect and everyone needs to hear kind and grateful words. Make someone smile this holiday season by focusing on the positive instead of the negative, with words of thanks and appreciation.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Life is too short! Make the most of it while you can! Let music or anything else that brings you joy, be your food for love. Play it and let it motivate you to do something new and kind for someone this holiday season!

P.S. Thank you to everyone who supported our book sales this past weekend at the VKH Christmas Porch Tour! It was so great to see some new and familiar faces. We received such positive feedback for our books, as well as for my columns! It is always great to hear everyone is enjoying our creations and is very much appreciated.