By Danielle Nauman | danielle.n@dairystar.com

Spreading joy one light at a time

Kevilus shares her Christmas spirit

Posted

PRENTICE, Wis. — When her family moved to their small Price County farm three years ago, Pam Kevilus saw that the place was made for Christmas lights, and she was anxious to share it with others.

“I love Christmas,” Kevilus said. “The lights bring me joy, and I enjoy sharing that. They help brighten the darkest part of the year, and it feels like maybe they help make the transition to winter a little bit easier. Our first Christmas here, I told my husband I was putting lights on everything.”

That is precisely what she set out to do.

Kevilus and her husband, Ryan, along with their children Ryan Jr., Emily, Lane and Colter, are just beginning their life’s adventure of dairy farming near Prentice. 

Earlier this fall, the Keviluses started shipping milk from their 12-cow dairy. By February 2024, their herd will double. Their goal is to milk around 30 cows while Kevilus continues to work full time off the farm.

“We both grew up on dairy farms,” Kevilus said. “My parents sold our cows when I was 9 or 10, and Ryan’s family sold theirs when he was in high school. Dairy farming is something each of us has always wanted to do.”

Kevilus said she has lost count of exactly how many lights she puts up around the farm each year in her pursuit of sharing her own brand of Christmas cheer. She strings lights along the barn, fence and shed.

“There are over 300 feet of lights put up on just the barn,” Kevilus said.

The lights are turned on the weekend following Thanksgiving and typically stay on into the new year. Kevilus said she keeps the lights turned on all through the night, each night.

“Things change a little each year, and we did cut back a little this year,” Kevilus said. “As a rule, the barn is always done in white lights, and I have red and green lights along the fence.”

When it comes to decorating the farm, Kevilus said she is happy to receive help from her family.

“I am terrified of heights; without my oldest son stepping up to help me, I probably wouldn’t have the lights on the barn,” Kevilus said. “I bought him a special ladder so that he could do it.”

Because decking the barn in lights is such an arduous task, Kevilus said she leaves those lights up year-round but removes the others at the end of each season. She said she is not looking forward to the day the lights on the barn will requiring replacing.

“The big set on the barn will stay up until they quit working, but I am guessing, at some point, I will need to replace those lights,” Kevilus said. “I’m hoping I can still talk my oldest son into doing it, or maybe my younger kids will be ready to tackle the job for me.”

Besides the work decorating the barn, Kevilus said each of her kids enjoys helping.

“They all look forward to it, and they each have a part of the farm they have claimed to help with,” she said.

Kevilus said she has goals for her festive display.

“I told my husband I wanted a big star for the silo or on the barn,” Kevilus said. “I have a smaller star on the shed, but I want one with the wow factor.”

Kevilus said their farm is in close proximity to the town of Prentice, and the first year having lights created a stir.

“People were so surprised there were lights up on this farm; it hadn’t ever been lit up before we moved here,” Kevilus said. “We noticed a lot of people driving by that first year. People still enjoy it, but the novelty isn’t quite there like the first year.”

During the holiday season, Kevilus said she notices a slight uptick in the electric bill but not enough to deter her from sharing her passion with passersby.

“There is so much negativity in the world these days, but I refuse to let that steal the joy I feel during the holidays,” Kevilus said. “Putting lights up around the farm is something I can do to help combat that negativity we face every day.”

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