A Rural Christmas

Sadly, for many of us the Holiday season is rife with shopping, travel, crowded airports or highways, and out here on the Great Plains enough cold, wind, snow and ice to make traveling that much more difficult. For many rural and small town Americans, the stress of travel and shopping, which probably involves more travel, is amplified by harsh weather and poor road conditions.

All of that tends to erode the best aspects of the Holiday season, namely, spending time with and forging stronger relationships with family, and, of course, creating memories of those special times we get to spend with the ones that we love most.

While it has at times been difficult to for me to get beyond the expense of gift-giving and the pressure of finding the right gift for each person on our list, today I received an excellent reminder of what the Holiday season should mean to all of us. 

Kolt Smith, age 6, son of Elisha Smith, Media Associate here at the Center for Rural Affairs, penned the following essay with accompanying illustration.

Kolt cuts through all the noise and stress of the season by sharing one of his favorite memories of his most recent Christmas… a ride with family in a horse-drawn wagon across a wintry, rural landscape. He doesn’t mention gifts, although I’m certain he received awesome gifts that he cherishes.

Instead, Kolt remembered what matters most about the Holiday season. And I daresay he won’t soon forget his Christmas ride in the country with his grandparents, parents, and his sisters. Thank you Kolt, for an excellent reminder of the true beauty of a rural Christmas.