Nisse, Norwegian Barn Elf

Each year in December we travel four hours to the East in order to celebrate Christmas with the extended Belsby clan.  Grandma Louise graciously hosts Christmas dinner for upwards of 15 people, but before opening presents or eating the grand meal the children must do chores for the Norwegian Barn Elf, Nisse.

Of course it is freezing at chore time and all the kids are wearing their holiday best which rarely equates with warmth.  So we bundled up and filled the stock tanks with water for the horses, gifted the barn kitties some choice scraps, threw grain for the wild birds and pheasants, brought fresh, sweet oats for the horses and cows and gave each of the four ranch dogs a treat.  The last chore of checking on and feeding the heifers, young female cows pregnant with their first calves, lands us at the main barn where we thank Nisse for watching over the family farm; beasts, bovine, fowl and all.

Hot chocolate warms us up when we all make it back to the house followed by elk, pork and turkey roasts harvested on the property or gifted by neighbors.  Mash potatoes and gravy flowed, my sister-in-laws amazing salad was devored, enough wine flowed to keep Grandma Louise happy without upsetting the Mormon elder present and after a long day of waiting we finally joined hands and circled the Christmas tree while singing carols and opening gifts.

Till next year, Nisse.  Thank you for doing such a good job watching over the family farm- beasts and humans alike.

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