Christmas Guide, Gift And Otherwise

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

We are officially within a week of Christmas Day. It’s the center point of a month-long season of festivity, the reason for green tights and elementary school plays, Santa’s big day, Jesus’ birth, airplane rides in bad weather, incessantly ringing bells, and a whole lot of shopping all wrapped up and tied with a jolly red bow.

What’s that you say – you are STILL not ready for Christmas??? I have only one thing to say to you procrastinators: Join the club. To help out my fellow folks who are consistently caught unprepared for this annual event despite it’s name being written on every calendar, street banner, store window, coupon booklet and website since September 12th, I put together this handy Christmas guide. It’s not just a gift guide; it covers all aspects of the holiday from gift-giving to the meal. Check it out. Yule be glad you did.

First, the gift guide

Ranch wife: Create a basket along the theme “things that smell good,” because living on a ranch, she is undoubtedly surrounded by things that don’t. Think scented candles, hand lotion, Glade plug-ins, perfume and car air fresheners. This woman has to daily rise above the odors of cow manure, horse manure, fresh-cut rawhide, branding pen smoke, and diesel exhaust. A spritz of Romance by Ralph Lauren could mean the difference between smiling while she cooks Hamburger Helper or sitting in the closet and crying.

Cowpuncher: Find the plainest, heaviest piece of tack available. Definitely nothing tooled or flower-carved; only rough-out will do. Any headstall or breast collar (even better if it’s a “pulling collar”) will work, as long as it is completely devoid of silver or other adornment.

Buckaroo: Take all the money that you saved from buying the cowpuncher a plain piece of tack, and buy a single silver concho. Something shiny: That’s all a buckaroo really wants.

Team roper: A brand-new living quarters horse trailer, of course. If this is out of your budget, because you own a horse and not an oil well, then spring for a new ball cap. Team ropers prefer this shape to that of a regular cowboy hat. It’s more aerodynamic.

Ah, it’d sure be nice to give (or receive) one of these beauties.

But just being realistic, a nice mesh trucker hat with an easily recognizable logo would work.

Or, you could customize it to avoid any confusion as to what sport the wearer enjoys.

Or, go with an ambiguous question. Why? I’m not sure.

Decoration and cooking

Proper way to procure a Christmas tree: Take a cue from a Leanin’ Tree card and put your rope around a freshly cut tree. Take a couple dallies, then drag it back to the house with your horse. Note: Do not try this in Arizona, or you will triumphantly arrive home only to hear your wife shouting “Oh, great, you brought more dirt for my house! Because we didn’t have enough already with the boots, the dog, the wood stove and the cracks under the doors!”

Whoa. This person seriously nailed the western theme.


Now that we all kinda feel bad about our own decorating skills, let’s look at something a little more doable the week before Christmas.

Nailed it! Now, the only question remains is “Where’s Linus?”


Christmas dinner: Prime rib is the traditional Christmas dinner in cattle country. Just don’t be like us a few years back, when the ranch manager gave us an unmarked, large chunk of home-wrapped beef. We naturally assumed it was prime rib, because we are the hopeful sort, and cooked it accordingly. It turned out to be a roast and was thus way undercooked. We set the table and said grace, but that piece of meat never was knife-tender.

Ranch-appropriate Christmas carols: Feel free to listen to any holiday song you would like, as long as it is The Redneck Twelve Days Of Christmas; Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer; LeRoy The Redneck Reindeer; or Silent Night. Okay, okay, fine – George Strait’s Christmas Cookies makes the short list as well.

Does anyone even know the full-length, original version of the Twelve Days Of Christmas? Is the fact that I can only sing “A twelve-pack of Bud, eleven wrasslin’ tickets, ten of Copenhagen, nine years probation, eight table dancers, seven packs of Red Man, six cans of Spam, five flannel shirts, four big mud tires, three shotgun shells, two huntin’ dogs, and some parts to a Mustang GT” reveal my true redneck colors? Well, at least red is a Christmas color. Also, I’m kind of proud that I could recite all twelve days without looking it up online. That takes dedication – or at least a childhood spent in a remote canyon with a dad who shod horses in the summer and ran a trap line in the winter.


Decorations: Hang anything you would like – wreaths, stockings, wooden snowman, garland, glass ornaments, or quilted wall hangings depicting a peaceful stable scene. Just make sure you hang them high enough so my toddler can’t tear them down. Think you’re safe because he doesn’t live with or near you? Think again. He’s sneaky.


Merry Christmas and Happy 2018!

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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