We attended the PV Ranch Christmas party this past Sunday. I thoughtfully left my camera at home in order to give our camera-shy coworkers a great Christmas gift: a get-together without the taunting flash of my camera!
Instead, I offer this photo of the Christmas star that glows from its perch atop the feeder leg at ranch headquarters each December.
The ranch Christmas party is pretty much the only time of year that we’re all in one place. The co-workers are there, and day-workers too, and family members, and friends of the ranch. We catch up, the kids chase each other, we eat prime rib and shrimp, we exchange cards and small gifts. This year at the PV Christmas party we also said goodbye to a family that worked with us for almost nine years and is now moving on to greener, or at least other, pastures.
The ranch Christmas party is not a bash that the ever-distant corporate employer throws to show appreciation to its employees; there’s been no celebration like that under current ranch ownership. Instead, it is a gathering of those of us who live on the place, who work together in good weather and in bad, in sickness and in health, through great days when the crew just clicks and through not-so-great days when everyone was thisclose to throwing a screaming tantrum.
A time of town clothes and holiday cheer for those of us who share in the privilege of treating the land like it’s our own and the cattle like they’re our own (though of course we all know that it’s not and they’re not).
A time when we take a moment to pat the backs of others who, like us, are thankful to work for an outfit where for the most part we’re left to our own devices to get the job accomplished — even if that job is putting together a Christmas party.
A reason to celebrate… because by golly we all made it through another year.
© Tami Blake