May the joyful noise of Christmas ring loudly

Best Christmas gift: Four generations at one table, the youngest and oldest lost in their own world of laughing and giggling and connecting. It was indeed a joyful noise.

Burt Rutherford, Senior Editor

December 19, 2018

3 Min Read

I have a confession. Not that it matters, other than to family and friends. And they already know. The confession is this: wrapping presents is probably my least favorite part of Christmas.

No, that’s not completely accurate. There’s no “probably” about it.

It’s not that I mind giving presents. In spite of my Scottish DNA, buying and gifting is among my favorite parts of the secular side of the season—seeing the smiles and enjoying the family on Christmas morning. Now that we have grandbabies old enough to understand what may be hidden under the colorful wrapping paper, it’s even more wonderful.

Rather, it’s that I’m not very good at it.

Photo Gallery: Reader photos of Christmas on the ranch

That’s probably because I’m too impatient. Throughout my life, when I came across something I wasn’t good at, I did one of a couple of things: Worked at it until I got good enough to be at least passable, or barring that; went on to another task and let someone else handle it.

That’s very likely the root of my management philosophy regarding others—find someone who’s good at what I’m not. Then get out of the way.

But I digress. There are some things you just have to do yourself, like wrapping Christmas gifts. Let the duct tape fall where it may.

What I find most enjoyable about this time of year is how it brings people together. We pause to remember the reason for the season, we talk to one another more—strangers in the store, people we haven’t seen, maybe in years. Perhaps that’s only through a Christmas letter or card, but the connection brings a smile or a nod. And usually, best of all, warmth in the heart.

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And family. Last weekend, I fetched my mother to take her to a Christmas concert. The several hours we spent in the car were the most time we’ve had to talk all year. Then the grandbabies—her great-grandchildren—came for supper. They brought their parents with them, of course, a concession they often have to make.

When supper was over, 3-year-old Beckett climbed down from his chair and quietly snuck behind his great-grandmother. A game of peek-a-boo quickly ensued, joined in no time by big sister.

Gone were thoughts of the concert. Instead, she spent the rest of the evening with her great-grandchildren. Mom said it’s the best decision she’s made in a long time.

It is a memory I’ll never forget and always cherish. Four generations at one table, the youngest and oldest lost in their own world of laughing and giggling and connecting. It was indeed a joyful noise.

I’m sure ‘ol Santy Claus has a surprise or two under the tree for me. And I will welcome them.

But I’ve already had the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for.

How ‘bout you? What’s your best Christmas memory? Please leave ‘em in the comments section.

From my family to yours, I wish you a wonderous and glorious Christmas, and blessings for 2019.


About the Author(s)

Burt Rutherford

Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine

Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.

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