For the past several years, our Christmas tree has been an artificial one. It’s pre-lit and pretty and much, much easier to take down and put up, but I miss not only the look and smell of a real tree, but also the joy of the hunt – the hunt to find the perfect tree.

Christmas on Broadway Tree Lighting in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Christmas Tree Farms Near Fort Wayne, Indiana

Have you ever watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Do you remember the Griswold family going into the woods – deep, deep, deep into the woods to search for the perfect Christmas tree? Clark was determined to make a memory with his family, and, at the same time, enjoy the hunt to find the perfect tree for their home.

I admit, Clark chose poorly. The tree was huge and came with a critter in it. The point here is what Clark was trying to accomplish. He wanted a real tree for his family’s Christmas. I love the sentiment.

Like Clark Griswold, I believe there is something special about going and picking out the family Christmas tree. There’s just something about heading out – all decked out in winter attire with a common goal in mind – searching for that perfect family Christmas tree where friends and family will gather and presents will surround during the holiday season.

Whether you want to cut your own tree, pick a live tree and have it cut for you, buy a tree already cut, or buy a living tree you can plant, there are several Christmas tree farms in the area where you can do just that and more.

St. Joe Christmas Tree Farm 

Experience Christmas in the Country at St. Joe Christmas Tree Farm, 9801 St. Joe Road. The farm offers a fun memorable Christmas tree buying experience with free train rides every weekend and complimentary beverages for visitors. In addition to 23 acres of White Pine, Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce, and Fraser Fir, there are pre-cut varieties located in the barn. There are also live potted trees, wreaths and swags, and white pine garland and bough.

Pines of Leo

Christmas trees in a country setting can also be found at Pines of Leo, 18832 Amstutz Road. Varieties available are Scotch Pine and White Pine.

Koontz Tree Farm

Another Christmas tree farm, the Koontz Tree Farm, located between Cook and Washington Center Roads at 6827 Huguenard Road, offers choose and cut Christmas trees.

This Christmas – think about getting a real tree. It’s an adventure you and your family will always remember.

This post was originally published in November 2011 and has been updated.