The first weekend in December heralds our family's expedition to a local tree farm to cut a Christmas tree for our home. This tradition started in 1994, a year after our first Christmas together as a married couple. That first Christmas, we bought a cut tree from a tree lot in town. In the process of decorating it, the white shirt I was wearing started to turn green. Our "fresh" tree had been spray-painted green. After that experience, we've insisted on cutting a tree ourselves. Not only are we assured a fresh tree, it's also a way to support the local economy instead of a tree farm hundreds of miles away.
Seifert Tree Farm in White Heath, Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, and Conkeytown Tree Farm in Fithian. We're always shopping for a taller-than-average (around 8-9 feet) but narrow tree, so most tree farms only have a few trees that match our requirements. Each year, we'll also take note of potential candidates for the next year's tree and rotate to a new farm if we think pickings will be sparse. This year, we chose Hardy's because we were happy with the selection last year and our son wanted to see the reindeer, too.
Penn State University)