So, I’ve been showing some relatives around beautiful East Texas over the holidays, and I have to say: Texans go all out for Christmas!

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen me share pictures and stories of the Athens Christmas Parade, the very cool tree in the courthouse square where Santa appears regularly, and the Texas Longhorns languishing in the nearby pasture.

This year, it’s all about the Grinch’s lair and a tour of Old Town Palestine.

In a relaxing step away from busyness, we admired the amazing creativity of everyone who put so much effort into decorating all the Christmas trees. Take this wildlife themed one for example. I would never have thought of decorating my tree with squirrels and pheasants, but its beautiful! Other trees had giant peppermints and waves of red garland, almost real enough that you wanted to find out if it tasted as good as it looked.

And the outdoor firepit, where a few logs can make such an impact on the atmosphere. Looking into the dancing flames, I reflected on how life changes and how sometimes we make changes. And how sometimes change happens to us. A lot of us don’t have to make many changes, but for farmers, every year requires change in order to keep pace with the progress and technology of agriculture.

I was talking recently with a farmer who had hit almost 100 bushels soybeans, and I thought back to when I started my career and how 35 bushels was amazingly good in the rich farmlands of Illinois. This fellow was in Tennessee.

And then I read how someone in Virginia had grown a record corn yield of 626 bushels per acre, I think it was. And I remembered helping out with a study 10 years ago about the genetic potential of corn. These accomplishments would seem like miracles 20 years ago. Today, they are still amazing but within reach.

After touring the Grinch’s lair, it occurred to me that Dr. Seuss is the antithesis of the Grinch. A quote I thought  relevant was featured at the end of the tour: “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” To be sure, today’s farmers use the simplest solutions to make the most of the complicated technological advances in agriculture and they do it being true to their You. 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Read More About Christmas in Texas

From Across the Miles

The Promise of Christmas