‘Tis the season for The Country Christmas Connection

In partnership with Darleen Sichley, of Guernsey Dairy Mama, I’m excited to share…we are attempting to fill big {YUGE} shoes by grabbing the reins of a Christmas agriculture blogger exchange, best known as Christmas in the Country. For years, the Christmas in the Country, founded by the amazing duo Jamie and Laurie, has been an astounding success. When we learned they will be taking a step back from the exchange, Darleen the-5and I knew we had to continue the tradition – {keep reading to find out why its so near and dear to our hearts}. So…in the spirit of continuing to forge connections across the nation of Ag bloggers, while spreading a little holiday cheer, we bring you {drumroll, please}…..The Country Christmas Connection.

Gimme the background…

The Christmas in the Country exchange stretches beyond just a fun ritual where you stalk a person’s social channels {in a friendly way, of course} to learn their deepest, darkest secrets. The exchange is mysterious as it employs Go-go Gadget investigative skills, leading to the perfect Secret Blogger goodies. You’ll employ the most devious of gift wrapping skills {think double, triple wrapping; empty boxes; duct tape; scavenger hunt hints…said too much}. When the last piece of tape is adhered and glitter has dried, you’ll deliver the masterpiece to the post office. Don’t be confused, your mad gift wrapping and glitter accents aren’t the magic – keep reading, I’ve only touched on the tip of the candy cane.

These exchanges have the power to spark and ignite treasured friendships, spanning thousands of miles. Friendships that have witnessed babies born, the changing and progress of farms, first days of kindergarten, loss of cattle, love of dairy, leading to meeting in real life and attending events together. These exchanges create a friendship like ours.

A friendship like ours?

Sescreen-shot-2016-11-19-at-2-24-56-ame, several Christmas’ ago, Jamie and Laurie paired Darleen and I together. I had the pleasure of being Darleen’s Secret Blogger.

It would be dishonest if I told you I didn’t walk through all of those crazy preparation steps, mentioned above. I did, but I never imagined the outcome. For us, this exchange isn’t just about the gifts {although, that’s definitely part of the fun!}. Its about igniting valuable connections which carry into real, lasting friendships. That, my friends, is how the roots of The Country Christmas Connection began.

Showme the deets | The who, what, where and when

  • Who: For our first year we are limiting the exchange to Ag bloggers within the U.S. {I know, I know. Don’t worry, we already have plans for our favorite international, ag bloggers in 2017}
  • What: The Country Christmas Connection is a secret gift exchange for Agriculture bloggers. Think Secret Santa, but Secret Blogger.
  • When: You may begin signing up November 21 through November 30 | CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Sign me up, Scotty!

  • Signups via Google Form. The form provides gathers basic information about you and assists the elves {er, hosts} in pairing you with your Secret Blogger. Easy, peasy.
  • Share, share, share. Sharing is important. As soon as you are done submitting your information, share the exchange with other bloggers. Let them know that you have signed up, then take to your favorite social, the more the merrier! Use the hashtag #tccc16

Ink drafted and details shared, now how will I get the dirt? 

  • Watch your email on December 2nd: The elves {aka-hosts} will take care of the behind the scenes
    The Great Minnesota Hot Dish - TheMagicFarmHouse.com

    One of my favorite gifts from Brian in Minnesota!

    work and making the matches {and, magic} happen. Now, we will release the magic via email!

  • Will it do tricks? Nope, just gives intel. At the same time your information is being shared, you will gain access to info about your blogger. Like a six year-old’s letter to Santa, the email will contain your person’s likes, dislikes, ideas for gifts, where to find more info, address for gift, etc…

Operation Investigate, detectivigate {see what we did there}, and conspire

  • Translation: Plan, shop and wrap {you have our permission to be ornery}
  • Recommendation: We highly recommend reading “The Guernsey Mama’s Tips for Exchanges that Shine”

You’ve Got Mail!

  • Its the phrase we all want to hear. So, let’s make it happen! Your gift must be shipped by December 14, to arrive before the holidays. We can’t stress this enough, if you are going to sign up make sure you can ship your gift by the shipping deadline! The only way an exchange of this nature works is if we can all follow the rules to make it a success! No one wants to miss out!


  • Is there a suggested value amount? The suggested gift amount is $15-25 US
  • What happens after the exchange? Mark your calendars for January 5! We will all come back together with a blog post to reveal who we sent our gifts to and who we received from. Share what was in your gift you received and the new connections you made. You must add your blog post to the link up that will be provided, by the end of the week. Take the time to visit and comment on the other blogs that also participated.
  • Children's books by Katy Wallace - TheMagicFarmHouse.com

A few thoughts….

We hope this exchange can become a treasured holiday tradition that you look forward to over and over. A tradition where you can value new connections and friendships while enjoying the fun this event creates.

We are so excited to be your hosts for the first Country Christmas Connection! If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to contact us at the e-mail addresses below.

We know life can be busy and hectic…in case you missed it earlier in the post you click —> HERE to sign-up. 🙂

~Darleen & Jenny

*Host Disclaimer: We are looking forward to hosting and organizing The Country Christmas Connection and hope you will be patient with us as we work out the kinks in the first year. We also need your help to make this a successful and fun exchange. If you plan to participate, you must be willing to agree to all the points above. The only way this works and is fair for everyone is for you to fully participate. If you can’t agree to any point above then this exchange is not for you. Failure to fully participate will result in our asking you not to participate again. We can’t stress enough that this is about the connections you will make and hope you will find the same value that that we cherish!*

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  1. Laurie Link says:

    I am so excited for you all! It looks like you are off to a great start! Have fun with this and I will be sure to share so others know too.

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