A ranch wife’s basic Christmas list

Dec 9, 2011
by WLJ

As the season progresses to Christmas, advertisements bombard with suggestions for the perfect gifts; custom-designed fountains, hand-crafted boats, new cars with big bows, or lots of big jewels. The ranch wife, however, is not so easily swayed by other’s take on the perfect gift; they tend toward the more practical. Can the fountain work as a watering hole? Is the boat big enough to ferry a cow and calf from the island which is formed during run off? Can the car carry parts, pull trailers, and still have enough room for the family? Does the sparkle of the jewels give off enough light to find heifers about to calve on a moonless night?

That’s not to say that the ranch wife doesn’t appreciate the finer things in life; a reminder that they are women who are loved for who they are, not just the many jobs that they do. There’s nothing wrong with some personal gifts like the lotions, clothes, perfumes and jewelry which is fitting to their taste and sense of style. Ranch wives, however, do have some unique additions to their Christmas lists.

Here are just a few things which you might find on a ranch wife’s Christmas list:

To open the tool box on the piece of machinery and find the tools needed to make the necessary repairs without having to search through the hundreds of tools in the husband’s tool box or machine shed.

Wire gates, tight enough to hold animals, which can be opened or closed without getting a hernia or leaving it tied up with the lead rope or baling twine.

Metal gates which actually swing.

Boots which don’t leak ever; light and flexible enough to run and climb the corral fence, repel any mud build up, and keep the wearer from tripping over frozen cowpies or falling in the muck.

A psychic cleaning lady who senses when the mother-in-law, out of town or nonranching guests, or the minister are about to arrive unexpectedly and gets there in time to straighten up.

Caterer for branding. A fencing kit consisting of working fence stretchers, fence pliers and splicing wire to keep by the back door for emergency escapes.

Heated and cooled saddle with remote for opening and closing gates.

A husband monitor; it automatically alerts when the husband is doing something dangerous, or can be manually activated when the husband is seriously late returning from chores.

Gloves that actually fit well enough to work in.

An auto detailer to clean the car/truck in preparation for trips.

A parts dealer that always has the parts needed on hand.

The general public would recognize and appreciate the contribution that families like hers give to their families, communities and country.

In some ways, the ranch wife is just like any other wife. She wants her family to like what they are doing, to be healthy, happy and content. She would like her family to have the time and energy to enjoy spending time with each other. As a ranch wife, she would ask for no breakdowns, weather with the appropriate moisture at appropriate times, healthy land, crops and livestock with a good market. She would love to have her children feel the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with the lifestyle and have the ability to carry on into the future.