Every year about this time there was tension in the Creighton household over the family Christmas tree. My father would have been content opening the closet and dragging out the artificial Christmas tree. My mother, she always wanted a real tree, and most years got her way.

One thing we attempted to do once, was to go cut our own Christmas tree. We left empty handed. After that we just headed to one of the pop up tree lots that materialized the day after Thanksgiving. Not as bad as the Griswold's experience in "Christmas Vacation" but still disappointing.

If your family is interested in the experience of cutting down your own tree, or at least getting one fresh from the farm, here's some places where you can make those memories:

  • Kelly Tree Farm -  1045 Stone Mill Road, Tipton, Iowa. Open for business the day after Thanksgiving. Trees available Friday November 23 - Sunday November 25; Friday November 30 - Sunday December 2. You can cut your own tree, or pick up a fresh cut one if you don't want to do the work. There is a possibility they'll be sold out after December 2. Cash and checks only.
  • Timber Lane Christmas Tree Farm - 250 Garden Plain Road, Fulton, Illinois. Open for business the day after Thanksgiving. Open Monday - Saturday 9AM - 5PM CT, Monday and Thursday nights until 7:00PM CT and Sunday from Noon - 5PM CT. You can cut your own tree, or pick a fresh cut one in their indoor display area. They accept credit cards, checks and cash.
  • Up North Pines - 8319 Buffalo Ave., Davenport, Iowa. Open for business the day after Thanksgiving. Friday November 23 - Sunday November 25 from 9AM -5PM CT. Open Wednesday - Sunday from November 28 - December 15. Wednesday - Friday hours 1PM - 5PM CT, Saturday and Sunday hours 9AM - 5PM CT.
  • Weber’s Christmas Farm - 27356 N Weber Rd., Geneseo, Illinois. Now Open. Closed Mondays. Open through Sunday December 16. They will be open on Thanksgiving & Black Friday.
  • Hainstock Christmas Trees - 22700 1st St. Delmar, Iowa. Open Friday - Sunday 9AM - 4:30 PM.