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12 Days Of Christmas on The Slee Family Homestead Ewing Missouri

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Homestead Edition

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snowy day in Lewis County Missouri

Christmas is upon us and I’m so thankful for the mild weather we’ve enjoyed so far this winter (which technically began today but let’s be real, from Thanksgiving on IT’S WINTER.) I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday season for a variety of reasons:

LOVE

  1. Twinkly lights make a dreary season more bearable. The soft glow of a Christmas tree has an undeniable boosting effect on the spirit!
  2. Seeing family and friends is a gift. Thoughtful gift-giving, good food, and times of fellowship with your favorite people are a treasure we should never take for granted.
  3. Each year beginning in December our homeschool focuses very intentionally on the birth of Jesus, whether it’s reading a chapter a day of the gospel of Luke or doing an advent devotional. We read and discuss our favorite Christmas storybooks (actual Christmas, not secularized Christmas!) and try to prepare our hearts for Jesus. Tonight we rehearse for a children’s Nativity play at church. All of this warms my heart more than the best cup of steamy coffee. 

HATE

  1. Winter is THE WORST. I need sunlight, warmth, and growing things and winter has none of them.
  2. I don’t thrive on busyness. My calendar over the course of 12 consecutive days includes 14 places to be, but the duties around the homestead don’t let up so it feels like we’re just trying to cram way too much into every day. You know that “I need a vacation from my vacation” feeling? It’s that on steroids.
  3. I loathe the pervasive secular messaging that poses as “Christmas,” whether it’s the outright hijacking of a sacred day or the subtle cultural diversion taking our eyes off of the TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. It gets me very bah-humbuggy.

So ultimately there are two holiday options available to us: rushed, busy, stressful, flashy, expensive, and fleeting vs. simple, quiet, peace-giving, all-important, available freely to all, and eternal. I try to find a balance between these two ends of the spectrum, and there’s no getting around the fact that year after year it remains a struggle. 

In case you missed it in the ubiquitous cultural messaging campaign, here’s the actual meaning of Christmas: Humanity was (and is) sinful, screwed-up, and pathetically lost. We were hopelessly separated from a magnificently holy God by our own disgusting wickedness. BUT GOD had a rescue plan to bridge the gap between us and Him and it would take nothing short of a perfect sacrifice, which no one on earth, EVER, would be able to fill… so he chose to BE IT for us. He came to earth as a baby—God incarnate—born of a virgin, just as had been prophesied 700 years before by the prophet Isaiah:  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Surely the angels held their breaths in wonder right up to the moment God was born as a baby in a stable at Christmastime; then they erupted with uncontained joy and songs of praise. Next, the simple shepherds doing the mundane task of watching over their livestock at night responded with immediate action: they checked out this message of hope to confirm its veracity; they experienced it personally; they enthusiastically told everyone about it (Luke 2). May our response to reflections on this radical, destiny-changing truth be the same as the angels and shepherds who first witnessed the entry of the newborn King into the world: wonder, joy, praise, and the bold proclamation to others of what God has done! 


“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.’ Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!” —Psalm 66:1-5

I maintain that’s the most important messaging you can possibly hear or share this holiday season. And this article could and probably should end on that note. But since we still have one foot in the world, the Slee children and I decided to do a little cultural hijacking of our own and repossess “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song which has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus and tailor it to ourselves. So without further ado, I give you, “The Twelve Days of Christmas, Homestead Edition.

On the FIRST day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A HOMESTEAD IN MISSOURI.

On the SECOND day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

TWO PATROLLING LLAMAS,

On a homestead in Missouri.

On the THIRD day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

THREE BARKING DOGS,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri.

On the FOURTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

FOUR FANNING PEACOCKS,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the FIFTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

FIVE HOMESCHOOLED KIDS!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

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On the SIXTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

SIX DEER A-HANGING,
Five homeschooled kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,
On a homestead in Missouri!

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

SEVEN DUCKS A-SWIMMING,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

EIGHT GOATS A-MILKING,
Seven ducks a-swimming,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled Kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the NINTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me

NINE CATS A-MOUSING,
Eight goats a-milking,
Seven ducks a-swimming,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled Kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the TENTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

TEN RABBITS HOPPING,
Nine cats a-mousing,
Eight goats a-milking,
Seven ducks a-swimming,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled Kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me

ELEVEN BUZZING BEEHIVES,
Ten rabbits hopping,
Nine cats a-mousing,
Eight goats a-milking,
Seven ducks a-swimming,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled Kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

TWELVE CHICKENS LAYING,
Eleven buzzing beehives,
Ten rabbits hopping,
Nine cats a-mousing,
Eight goats a-milking,
Seven ducks a-swimming,
Six deer a-hanging,
Five homeschooled Kids!
Four fanning peacocks,
Three barking dogs,
Two patrolling llamas,

On a homestead in Missouri!



I know, I know, the numbers aren’t all quite right, but that’s homesteading: rosters change on the regular. My takeaway from this fun little exercise was a reminder that “my true love” deserves an extra big hug for making all my homesteading dreams come true. And hopefully each one of these adventures we partake in helps us to live meaningful, godly lives and share the light of heaven as we await the return of King Jesus!

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” —Titus 2:11-14

Merry Christmas from the Slee Homestead!

To learn more about Shannon visit our Introduction of her as she heads up her column “Homesteading without Credentials” here at The Lewis County Scoop.

shannon slee ewing missouri

To learn more about Shannon visit our Introduction of her as she heads up her column "Homesteading without Credentials" here at The Lewis County Scoop.

shannon slee ewing missouri

The articles published on The Lewis County Scoop (www.LewisCountyScoop.com) website are opinion pieces (Op-eds) and represent the personal views and opinions of the individual columnists. These views do not necessarily reflect the positions, strategies, or opinions of The Lewis County Scoop or its legal entity, Lewis County Scoop, LLC. Read Full disclaimer here