When Relatives Come To Roost

How to Handle the Crazies On The Farm and Around the Holiday Table

Tis’ the season to be jolly, fa lalalala la la la.  It’s Head Hen Lucinda here. Is it just me or did this year fly by crazy fast? Ready or not,  December is upon us. It’s my favorite time of the year. Why? The food I tell you. It’s the food! (Pie anyone?)  And the carols, and the eggnog, and the joy in my children’s faces as they help Adam cut a fresh Christmas tree from the back part of the farm. December in my life is a time of love, laughter and great food with those I hold dear and… well, a few crazies! (There’s one in every family!)

Here’s a little holiday survival wisdom: Every family includes a person or two that puts the “fun” in dysfunctional. No matter how pretty and put together The Joneses look from the outside, I guarantee you they have at least one crazy (or three). There’s nothing like a holiday gathering to bring people together and bring out the tomfoolery!

Even though my hog-raising husband Adam and I both come from Midwest farming families, we’re from two different sides of the Mississippi River, and that makes a world of difference in our family cultures. You see Adam’s family is pretty classy. They have the most beautiful farms you have ever seen with gorgeous fences, and painted up barns that look like they belong in a magazine. But here on the Missour-ah side we are just a bit more wild, with our busted up fences, dilapidated farmhouses and a pig named Porchy, because he likes to get out of his pen and sit on the porch. I often joke that there’s a Mighty Mississippi between my father-in-law and me for a reason! You stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine, Mr. Cramsey. 😉


Who is the firecracker at your family gatherings? Right now you’re probably thinking about Grandma, who just has to ask why you’re still single every chance she gets, or your Uncle Joe who goes off on political rants after one adult beverage. Or maybe it’s your overbearing mother-in-law who is never satisfied with your cooking and is still mad you took her baby away. All we can say is bless their hearts, am I right? And just a tip, if nobody in your family comes to mind, chances are the wild card is you. Just saying!

Things are no different on the small family farm. It seems like almost every one of us has at least one crazy animal and usually a turkey or rooster that will flog you for no apparent reason, and you may not see it coming. If you try to run, they’ll chase after you even harder. If you try to fight back, they will spur you. The only way to get them to stand down is to take a deep breath, put your shoulders back and look at them with your most intimidating crazy eyes. It works every single time, and then you can go about your day.

So during this time of loving face squeezes and ugly sweaters, I suggest using the same tactic when certain family members start coming in hot. We all know the best way to stop a bully is to confidently stand up to them without ever letting on that they got to you. If you try to fight back, it will probably get ugly. And if you run away, you give them permission to keep coming after you. Instead, take a deep breath and keep your cool. And then give them your most intimidating stink eye poker face. Once they simmer, smile proudly and resume your holiday merriment!


You know what else stops difficult family members’ shenanigans right in their tracks? Really. Good. Food. I mean, who has time for drama when the smell of mouthwatering, pasture-raised bacon is in the air? And even if you can’t meet Crazy Cousin Fred in the middle on politics, you can still agree on the goodness of a perfectly-seared, tender grass-fed steak.  Food is a language we can all speak, and even Mr. Cramsey and I can find ourselves smiling with each other, in spite of ourselves, when we have full bellies with happy hearts!

That’s where a Moink box comes in! In fact, ethically-sourced, humanely-raised and downright delicious meat might just save the season. Talk about bringing peace on earth and good will toward men! Order your box today!


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