It's probably going to be one of the biggest debates you have at the dinner table this Thanksgiving, and no I'm not talk about who should've won the election; I'm talking about your Christmas tree. Real or fake?

For me, I always went the fake route because Christmases were spent at my parents and grandparents house and I really never felt the need to care for a real one. As I got older, however, I wanted to create those memories of picking out the perfect tree, then struggling for 37 minutes trying to figure out how to strap it to the top of my Mercury Sable; and finally getting it all the way up three flights of stairs to my apartment all by myself.

Once all my dollar store ornaments were placed on the side of the tree that wasn't in the corner, I could look at it with total content and know that a real tree was totally worth it. I haven't used a fake tree since.

Whether it's family tradition or you're a first time tree buyer like I was a few years ago, picking out a real Christmas tree is not only fun for the entire family, real trees are also healthier, you're supporting the family of a local farmer and they smell better.

Here are 7 places in Rockford where you can hand pick the perfect Christmas Tree.

 

  • 1

    Williams Tree Farm

    Families from all over the stateline area have made it a family tradition to cut down their very own tree at Williams Tree Farm.

    4661 Yale Bridge Rd, Rockton, IL 61072

    Open weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    For more information you can visit their website for Cabin Cafe hours, Santa visits and more.

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  • 2

    Valley View Farm

    Bring your camera for fun family memories at Valley View Tree Farm.

    6440 Belvidere Rd, Roscoe, IL 61073

    They open for the Christmas season on November 25th.

    Visit their website for hours, pictures and more here.

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  • 3

    Ritschel's Market

    My friend Linda says Ritchel's has so many great trees that it's hard to choose. Plus, any tree any size is just $30.

    2929 11th Street, Rockford IL

    For more information on what they have to offer, you can visit their Facebook page.

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  • 4

    YMCA Retired Men's Club

    It's the season for giving and you can help give back to YMCA's youth programs when you purchase a tree from Rockford's Retired Men's Club annual tree sale.

    Highcrest Shopping Center, 1646 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

    For more information, please visit the YMCA of Rock River Valley's Facebook page.

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  • 5

    Lowe's

    While dad's out picking up some lights to throw up on the house, a new snowblower and a back up shovel, he can pick up a Christmas tree at Lowes.

    7130 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

    For store hours and more information you can visit their website here.

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  • 6

    Menard's

    Maybe you're not near a Lowe's and you're closer to Menards; they also carry a great assortment of trees, yard decor and more.

    2001 S Perryville Rd, Rockford, IL 61112

    For additional information and hours, you can check out their website here.

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  • 7

    Village Green Nursery

    According to their website, Village Green "is dedicated to making your life more more beautiful both indoors and out."  And what makes your home more beautiful than a Christmas tree?

    6101 E Riverside Blvd, Rockford, IL

    See everything they have to offer this Christmas including holiday plants, trees and ornaments here.

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  • 8

    Gensler Gardens

    Gensler Gardens has something for everyone for the holidays. They have great deals on Christmas decor, fresh cut trees, wreaths and porch pots.

    2 Locations:

    102 Orth Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111

    8631 11th St, Davis Junction, IL 61020

    For hours, Christmas offerings and more, you can visit their website here.

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