Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Just as we did last year, we bought the tree from a family-owned Christmas tree farm from Kalispell, Montana. Their trees are beautiful specimens well cared for – not at all like the typical junky trees we see at the larger commercial outfits. One thing we particularly like about their trees is that they have a lot of natural variation. We like our tree a bit more sparsely branched than most people seem to like, as we want room for the lights and ornaments. The Robinson family sends a truck and a couple of employees all the way down here to Logan (about 500 miles) each year to sell their trees. When I looked them up on the Internet, I discovered they have a few other lots they sell from, all in northern Utah. It's an interesting story.
Those blinking bulbs were originally meant to simulate the really old-fashioned way to put lights on a Christmas tree: with candles. I remember one Christmas – just one – when I was dispatched to my grandparents house (on the same farm I grew up on) to help with their Christmas tree. This was while my great-grandmother was still alive and before my grandfather's terrible auto accident, so I'm guessing '58 or '59 – I'd have been 6 or 7 years old, and that feels about right. I remember clearly just two things about that experience. First was the tinsel. It was carefully packed in funny-smelling tissue paper, and had been used in many previous years. There wasn't a whole lot of it – maybe 50 strands – and my grandmother was very protective of it. The tinsel was made of very thin, very shiny metal – possibly actual silver (which is what tinsel was originally made of), stored in anti-oxidant tissue. My great-grandmother and my grandmother carefully placed each individual strand. I wasn't allow to touch it. :) The other thing I remember is the candles: dozens and dozens of tiny candles, slightly larger than what you'd see on a birthday cake. They were in small tin or aluminum holders that hung on the tree. I lit a few of them myself, carefully supervised. Can you imagine putting flames on a Christmas tree? Those candles only burned for 30 minutes or so before they were exhausted, and we stayed right by the tree until they were done – but still. Flames?!?!
Debbie and some local friends made two beautiful wreaths for our house last Friday. I keep forgetting to take photos, but finally here they are. The left-hand one is on our interior kitchen door, the right-hand one on our exterior front door.