Friday, December 16, 2011

#241: Find a Christmas Tree

If Chevy Chase has taught us anything, it's that the best way to begin a Christmas Vacation is by cutting down the perfect tree for the living room.  If you haven't already found the best six-footer in Michiana, no worries.  There's still plenty of opportunities to find a nice tree in the area.  Plus, the forecast of light snow over the weekend will make it the ideal wintry conditions (but not too wintry) whether you're cutting it down yourself or just packing it into the trunk.

Here are a (few) suggestions -- please feel free to comment if you'd like to add your favorite spot!

For the convenience factor and everything but the tree: Buy a pre-cut tree at the Downtown South Bend Tree & Wreath Sale, outside the College Football Hall of Fame.  Keep kids entertained with the Holiday Train, screenings of holiday movies inside the Hall of Fame, and a visit with Santa (and/or the Grinch, if they're being particularly mischievous).  Visit for more info.  Note: The sale was extended as of December 8, but selection may be limited.  Cash only.

For the 'out in the country' feel with all the convenience: Head to locally-owned and operated Matthys Farm Market at 57754 Crumstown Highway just west of town.  Fresh-cut Fraser and Douglas fir, Scotch and white pine, $25 and up.  Open from 8:30 - 6 PM weekdays; 8:30 - 5 PM Saturday; closed Sunday.  Call 574.287.1935 or visit

For the free hot chocolate and candy canes: Try Southern Plantation Christmas Tree Farm on 63727 Orange Road for precut and u-cut trees.  They offer a variety of tree types and wreaths, too... and of course, free sugary treats!  Open seven days a week at varying times until 5 PM .  Call 574.289.7485 for exact hours.

If you are willing to head toward Three Oaks, MI, Pinecrest Farms, 4403 Spring Creek Road, off US 12, offers free hot chocolate (and coffee for the grownups), as it does open at 9 AM.  Rides on the horse-drawn wagon are available in the afternoon.  Call 269.545.8125.

For the full woodsman effect: Trek to Gloria's Christmas Trees, 207 E. Bertrand Road (Niles).  You can have any blue spruce you like, from 6 feet to 20 feet (!!) for $25.  Open 9 AM - dark, Friday through Sunday.  Call 269.684.8632 and don't forget the hand saw and the Advil.

For the best swag: Roseland Garden Center on 25 Dixieway S. and Ginger Valley Garden Center off Route 23 in Granger offer a wide selection of fresh garlands, wreaths, and something called the "fancy mix." Probably named after Drake.  U fancy, huh?

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