Abies Magnifica

December 7, 2014

For the last, I don’t know, five years or so?, we’ve been going to Silveyville for our Christmas tree. Usually we cut one down, but this year we chose a silvertiip fir, which is pre-cut and rests in a pot of water on the lot. Years past, they’ve been out of them, at least when we’ve been there; they come from Oregon and typically in smallish loads.

I’ve been pining (as it were) for a silvertip because I’m pretty sure that’s the variety of tree my grandparents used to get every year, on which they’d place (precariously sometimes) candles, which my grandpa would light on Christmas night with the family gathered around in due reverence (and in the dark)… and you know, it was a big deal and a Danish (and Peterson) tradition and all wrapped up in warm and glowy memories for me, so I thought it’d be nice to, if not light real live candles, at least get that kind of tree.

So, we did.

Here’s some Wikipedia info:

Abies magnifica, the Red fir or silvertip fir, is a western North American fir, native to the mountains of southwest Oregon and California in the United States. It is a high elevation tree, typically occurring at 1,400–2,700 metres (4,600–8,900 ft) elevation, though only rarely reaching tree line. The name red fir derives from the bark color of old trees.

Here’s the before:


Pricy little bugger.

And here’s the after:


And so tonight, we trimmed the tree (Peter even helped, which thrilled me no end) and put up the usual decorations in the usual places.

Some shots:

Here’s that Scandinavian candle thing (I actually think a lot of European cultures claim this one) — the heat from the candles spins the angel, whose little baton hits two bells (again and again and again and…) — it’s very sweet:


And a little collection of other Swedish holiday paraphernalia:


And nutcrackers, angels and Santas collected from various places over the years:


And because I figured out how to use the macro feature on my iPhone camera, some ornaments:



And with that, I’d say Christmas is in full swing.