Christmas has been around officially for only a little over 100 years. Most states did not actually celebrate Christmas until the late 19th century. Back then Christmas was celebrated on a much simpler scale than we do today. Families enjoyed the holiday, but there were still cows to milk, livestock to feed, and firewood to chop. Small gifts were occasionally exchanged and often were domestically inclined; fabric for making clothing, churns, crockery, brooms or tools. Ornaments were displayed but usually reflected an agricultural theme consisting of painted pinecones, nuts and clove studded fruit. Trees were often small tabletop size with strands of cranberries and dried apples. Children were thrilled to find their stockings filled with raisins, nuts or hopefully an orange, an exotic and rare treat for 1870. One thing that remains constant though is the gathering of friends and family, if not in body than in heart. And isn’t that truly what the Christmas spirit is all about. Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here at the Ag Information Network.