No need to take a day trip in search of a beautiful holiday spruce or fir.
There are plenty of nearby stands and farms selling an assortment of Christmas trees - in several varieties and sizes - right here in Cary and Crystal Lake.
Most farms help customers with shaking, wrapping and loading the trees atop customers' cars.
Here's a list of area Christmas Tree Stands and Farms:
1) Pine-Apple Farm, Cut Your Own or Buy
309 Three Oaks Road, just outside Cary.
Open from 9 a.m. to dusk, or by appointment
Described as the "Best Kept Secret," for cut-your-own Christmas tree shoppers, this beautiful 10-acre farm sits just east of the Cary city limits. Owners Jan and Jim Kohl started the family tree business in 1986.
They supply the cutting tools, and you browse the selection of pines, Douglas Fir, blue spruce and canaan firs. Once you've picked and leveled your tree, Pine-Apple will shake and bale it, and help afix it to your car.
The farm also has Fraser Fir trees that were just cut before Thanksgiving and are sitting in buckets of water to keep them fresh. The beautiful trees are known for their short needles and fragrance, Jan Kohl said.
"We are the closest tree farm to Chicago," Jan Kohl said.
This year, Pine-Apple Farm is asking its customers to e-mail a photograph of their purchased tree after it's been decorated. The winner of this year's Tree Decoration Contest will receive a free Christmas tree next year, Jan Kohl said.
"We see the trees when they leave here bare," Jan Kohl said. "We want to see what they look like once people get them home and decorate them."
2) Dalman's Evergreens
7417 Hillside Rd., just north of Crystal Lake
A family-run business, Dalman's has a large selection of Fraser, balsam, grand (a hard-to-get tree that exudes a citrusy scent), Douglas, white pine, Scots pine and concolor fir. They also have fresh Christmas wreaths, bows and garland.
"I can make whatever people want, too," said Kate Dalman, who runs the business with her husband, Matt. "People bring me pictures of holiday planters and decorations, and I can build it for them."
Dalman's offers complimentary hot chocolate, and will shake, wrap and tie your tree to your car. While Kate Dalman anticipates this first December weekend to be a busy one, she points out that this year's Christmas holiday includes an extra shopping weekend.
3) Knights of Columbus, St. Thomas the Apostle Church
451 Route 176 (at the corner of Oak Street), Crystal Lake
The Father McCormick Council 3880 of the Knights of Columbus have begun their annual Christmas Tree Sale to raise funds for chairty.
Located at the corner of Route 176 and Oak Street in Crystal Lake, the St. Thomas the Apostle group has over 240 beautiful Frazer Firs and balsam Christmas trees (very fragrant!) to choose from. In particular, the stand has tall, hard-to-find 12-foot-high trees.
The tree stand is open 3 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Knights also have 18" and 24" door wreaths and swags made by Scout troop 127.
Stand at Algonquin Township Office
3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake
A variety of trees are waiting at the stand (located next to the Hollows Conservation Area) at the township office.
The stand is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday- Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
5) Knights of Columbus, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
1023 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake
Conveniently located on McHenry Avenue and Dartmoor Drive, the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has plenty of trees ready and waiting for a new home.
The council also has beautiful wreaths for sale.
The stand is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday - Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.