CREVE COEUR, Ill -- When it comes to selecting the family Christmas tree, nothing makes it more personal than cutting down your own.
We visited a local farm where hundreds of people do exactly that.
You probably remember the scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswold goes to cut his own Christmas tree...and forgets the saw.
At Blank's Ever Green Acres in Creve Coeur, the saw is provided for you. Cutting your own trees is what brings hundreds of people to this farm every season.
"Now I'm a little sentimental, I just love the idea of coming out. And we pick out our tree, we know what it looks like. We get it home, it's not a surprise, You know, you buy the ones at the store, and you get surprised and you get home, you get bare spots. Here, you don't get that. You get a wonderful tree," said McLaughlin.
This farm has thousands of standing Christmas trees. McLaughlin let her 3-year-old grandson do the picking. He did need a little help from grandpa dragging it to the barn. Farm Owner Jam Blank says that sentimentality brings people from all over Illinois to his farm.
"We had about, probably, six families from here several years ago from the Chicago area that every year, they find a tree farm someplace away, and they go from the weekend, take the kids, get a motel with a pool, get their trees, and go back to Chicago," said Jan Blank,
The two retirees who run the farm say their clients are never in a bad mood...well, almost never.
"Once in a while because if there's a football game on that dad wants to watch but mom wants to cut the Christmas tree, sometimes he's ready to hurry up and get it cut and get home," said Blank, who has been selling cut-your-own trees for 25 years.
Three year old tree expert Mason already knows what he wants from Santa
"I told ya! Dinosaur magnets!" said young Macon Butler.
He may find them under the tree that grandpa cut for him today.