Category Archives: Christmas

Carroll County Country Christmas Coming to Northwest Illinois!

Carroll County Country Christmas

Carroll County Country Christmas

Welcome to the Carroll County Country Christmas! (Formerly Called Great Route 64/84 Shop Hop). 

Join us here in Carroll County for the first two weekends in November. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping needs! For complete details and a printable brochure of the shops, restaurants, and events CLICK HERE!

Savanna’s Festival of Trees

Savanna’s Festival of Trees
December 6, 2014 – December 14, 2014
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

It’s a Wonderful Life as sponsors from Savanna and surroundings communities show their Holiday spirit. Fifty lighted Christmas trees are delightfully decorated by local businesses, organizations and individuals in a competition for the Best Tree. Beneath each tree are gift items worth $25 to $400 as Raffle prizes to benefit the Savanna Museum & Cultural project. Visitors submit their votes for the Best Tree. Special Festival Events will entertain children and families. Stay and watch nostalgic Christmas movie classics that run throughout the Festival. Donations are appreciated and help the Savanna Historical Society NFP open the Savanna Museum & Cultural Center on a permanent basis.

Hours are Sat & Sun noon to 6pm and weekdays 4-7 pm. The Savanna Historical Museum is located at 406 Main Street in downtown Savanna.

Mount Carroll’s Christmas Walk & Tour of Homes

Mount Carroll Christmas Walk & Tour of Homes
December 6, 2014
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Dickens characters will stroll about downtown Mt Carroll and old-fashioned horse drawn wagons will take you back in time along our brick streets. Take time to check the unique shops & restaurants. Plan to spend the evening and experience a variety of live musical entertainment at our eateries & pubs.

Savanna’s Annual Christmas Walk

Savanna’s Annual Christmas Walk
November 28, 2014

We’re making a list and checking it twice. Not ready to share but it’s gonna be nice. Santa Claus is coming to our little town featuring authentic small-town hospitality, shopping, dining, entertainment, and more! Be certain to invite your friends and family!

Shannon’s Hometown Christmas


“2014 Hometown Christmas”
Friday, Nov. 21 st & Saturday, Nov. 22 nd

Download a Printable PDF Here!

Download a Printable PDF Christmas Parade Entry Form Here!

Hometown Christmas Traditional Events

  • Shannon Lions Chili & Soup Supper – At the Fire Station, Friday 4:30pm–7pm
  • Visit with Santa and Live Reindeer – At the Fire Station, Friday 5pm-7pm
  • Kids Create an ornament to hang on the Community Christmas Tree – At the Fire Station, Friday 4:30pm-7pm
  • Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree – In the Park, Friday 7:30
  • Lighted Christmas Parade – Friday 7:45pm (rain date – Nov. 22 nd ) Start at EMS (west), past the park to South Street, to Linn, to Bradshaw, to Hickory, back to EMS
  • Hot Chocolate & Cookies – In the Park before & during the Parade

Homes & Crafters

  1. Blarney Stone Popcorn & Gifts – 2 W. Market. – 20+ flavors of popcorn, coffees, Keurig single serve. Galena Canning Co. items, napkins on sale. Many great gifts. Fri. 9am–8pm, Sat. 9am–6pm
  2. The Shannon Café – 29 E. Market – Daily specials, home style cooking, soups, salads & desserts. Sunday smorgasbord (last Sunday of month) Café hours-Tues-Thurs 6am-9pm Sun 7am-2pm
  3. Family Tree Creations – 409 S. Walnut. Primitive, folk art, wreaths, Felted wool mittens, crocheted kids hats, snowmen, fall Fri. 9am–5:00pm, Sat. 9am–3pm
  4. Christmas at Cindy’s – 209 S. Chestnut. Hand painted items, decorated trees, photo cards, sewn creations. Bake shop featuring cinnamon rolls, cookies, specialty breads. Fri. 8:30am–6pm, Sat. 8:30am–2pm
  5. Christmas Gatherings  – 201 S. Hickory (Wesley Chapel). Marge’s peanut brittle, cookies, candies. Lynn’s handmade crafts, appliqued towels, table runners, Nola’s pies, fudge, divinity, cutout cookies Fri. 9am–5pm, Sat. 9am–2pm
  6. Christmas in the Village – 501 S Walnut – Amy’s Fascinators & Pins, Rachel’s Pen & Ink Plates & Birchwood Snowmen, candles, bath & body, handmade purses, decorated wreaths & trees, Inspired Whimsically Fri.9am-5pm Sat.9am-2pm
  7. Dollinger Tree Farm – 23882 Payne Rd. – Gift shop, Tree trims, Order wreath & cemetery decorations, Christmas trees. Door prizes. Complementary Enticements hot cider and treats Fri. & Sat. 8am–5pm
  8. Trailside General Store & Gifts – 2 mi. West of Rt. 72 & Rt. 73 on Zier Rd. – Enjoy a Cappuccino, save with our $5 lunch specials, 25% off all holiday trim & décor. Fri. & Sat. 6:30 am–9 pm
  9. Silver Moon Winery -21305 Zier Rd. Wine, accessories, imported olive oils & balsamic vinegars. Sat 12-5pm, Sunday 12pm–3pm (Sat & Sun apply through December 14 th No Friday’s)
  10. Holiday Celebration with the Pannkuk’s – 210 S Chestnut- Unique solar light designs, homemade goodies and NEW this year- Pallet Art. A must stop location. Fri. 8am-5pm Sat. 8am-3pm
  11. Je’Rod’s Bar&Grill – Stop in try our delicious burgers, Our customers say they are the best around Fri/Sat11am-10pm
  12. Hot Chocolate House – 317 Sunrise Drive – Christmas crafts, baked goods, pies ,cookies, breads & cinnamon rolls Fri 8-5pm Sat. 8-3pm
  13. Noordhoff’s Nook – 302 E Sunrise Drive – Celebrate a handmade holiday! Decorative wine bottles, wood crafts, homemade egg noodles, baked goods, cookies in a jar, crocheted dish clothes, & more! Fri 8:30-6:30pm/Sat 8:30-3pm
  14. 2 Ol Putzers – 201 S. Hickory (Wesley Chapel) – Hand painted items, ornaments, wood firemen. Fisherman, decorated gift bags. Fri. 9am–5pm, Sat. 9am–2pm
  15. Wirtjes Agency – 106 W Market – Christmas at the Office: Baked goods, homemade jelly, Handmade candles, unique gifts, lotions, and much more!! Many gifts ideas under $20 Fri. 9-5pm Sat. 9-3pm
  16. Shear Elegance & Mary Kay – 118 E Division – Mary Kay, gifts & gift ideas, Visit our salon & sample our products. Don’t forget to register to win a facial or pedicure. Fri- 9-6pm Sat. 9-3pm
  17. Shannon Fire Station – 14 S Hickory – over 20 Crafters all in the same location. Hours: Fri 9am-7pm & Sat 9am-3pm.

1. L-BRI by Vickie Beyer – Natural Aloe Vera based skin care- health and wellness products

2. Crafts by Bonnie Miles – Purses, aprons, table mats, quilts, pillow cases, potholders for bowls, other textiles

3. Crafts by Beverly Hayunga – Crotchet towels and other Christmas items, solar lights, shelving, and wall hangers.

4. Creatively Yours – Ruth Fagan & Diane VanRaden Bake goods, Christmas Crafts, Homemade Candy, honey, homemade jams, fleece baby blankets

5. Mary Kay – Jeannette Murray – Skin Care packed with multiple benefits. Special offers you don’t want to miss.

6. Pretty Stitches – Brett & Elayne Sivertsen- Custom apparel, gift decoration, custom made shirts for Eastland

7. Bake goods by Jackie Brown – baked items, breads, cookies, coffee cakes, crafts

8. Scentsy – Sherry Burke- Fragrance a safe way to scent your environment.

9. Crafts by Dee – Table runners, placemats, lots of crafts and seasonal items

10. Vera Adams – Handmade Bibs, towels, dish rags

11. Candy’s Crafts & More – Candy Curran Assorted crafts

12. Bonnie’s Brittles – Various types of brittles made extra thin. Spanish peanut, pecan, homemade cashew, black walnut, phopsuey.

13. Eastland Cheerleaders – Face painting, Eastland & EPC Apparel

14. Jewelry & Crafts by Dorie, Norm & Ardith –  Hand-cut stones, Handmade jewelry, crafts, cinnamon rolls

15. FAB JC with Inspired Creations – hand woven jewelry

16. Cindy’s Crocheted Creations – Character hats, infinity scarfs, Brim hats, boot cuff, collar scarfs, headbands

17. Crafts by Diane – Plastic canvas, crochet scarfs and other crafts

18. D’z Treats & Cards by Mary – Mixers in jars-handmade goodies, handmade greeting cards

19. Beads by Bonnie – Unique items made with beads and safety pins

20. Body works by Brenda – Brenda Moll- Chair Massages

21. Izzy Rose Boutique – American Girl doll clothes, children’s aprons, Upcycled mittens, etc. Bags all handmade

22. Alpca It Up-Kelly Miller – Socks, hats, gloves, items to warm you!

23. Dee’s Delights – Jams and Salsa’s

Jackie Brown & Family will be serving lunch at the fire station 11am-2pm.

Shannon Chamber of Commerce 150 yr. Shannon Memorabilia books- Special Pricing. Available @ Eastland Cheerleaders Booth@ Fire Station/ Blarney Stone/ First State Bank Shannon

Download a Printable PDF Here!

Download a Printable PDF Christmas Parade Entry Form Here!

Vintage Christmas Card

Christmas in Carroll County

Before the family cuddles up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa to enjoy the pleasure of a warm fireplace and watch the flames dance upon crackling logs as they spread their Christmas warmth, remember to take a leisurely drive through beautiful Carroll County and pick up a fresh cut Christmas Tree. Nothing exudes that unmistakable holiday ambiance quite like the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree!

As long as you’re out and about, might as well do a little holiday shopping too. You’re certain to find unique gifts at any one of our many local vendors. In fact, you’ll probably find some special indulgence for yourself as well!

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Why Buy a Fresh Cut Christmas Tree?

Using a Real Tree Gives Peace to the Earth
More people than ever are concerned with how things affect the environment. Although this concern often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, families can easily make one choice that will help them do their part to better the environment. That choice is to use a fresh, natural, Real Christmas Tree as the centerpiece of their holiday celebration.

“Unlike artificial trees, Real Christmas Trees are renewable and recyclable, ” says Mel Koelling, Forestry Professor Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. “However, many people still perceive cutting trees down as bad for the environment and that is not the case. Real Christmas Trees no longer come from the forest. They are grown on farms throughout North America.” Today, nearly all Christmas Trees, 98%, are grown on farms, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)”.

Once they are discarded after the holidays, there are many uses for recycled Real Christmas Trees. However, artificial trees are manufactured overseas from petroleum. These plastics and cannot be recycled and provide no benefits to the environment.

So as you celebrate the season of Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men, provide some peace to the Earth and goodwill toward the environment. Make the environmentally-friendly choice in Christmas Trees. Choose a fresh cut, Illinois grown, Christmas Tree!

Christmas Tree Varieties

Balsam Fir
As a Christmas tree, balsam fir has several desirable properties. It has a dark-green appearance and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance. Nine to ten years in the field are required to produce a 6-7 foot tree.

Needle Retention: Fair
       Fragrance: Excellent
 Needle Softness: Excellent


Concolor Fir
As a Christmas tree, Concolor fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape, and and excellent needle retention. We aren’t kidding when we mentioned aroma! This tree bears a wonderful citrus scent.

Needle Retention: Excellent
       Fragrance: Excellent
 Needle Softness: Excellent


Canaan Fir
Canaan Fir has similarities between the Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir. It is a newer variety and is finding an increasing popularity with its symmetrical shape and fullness.

Needle Retention: Fair
       Fragrance: Good
 Needle Softness: Good


Colorado Blue Spruce
Blue spruce is finding increasing popularity as a Christmas tree as a result of its symmetrical form and attractive blue foliage. The species has an excellent natural shape and requires little shearing. It is best to setup your Blue Spruce as a cut Christmas tree later in the Season (preferably after Dec. 1st).

Needle Retention: Fair
       Fragrance: Fair
 Needle Softness: Fair


Douglas Fir
The Douglas Fir is a softer, more fragrant, variety of tree. The branches are spreading and drooping. The needles are dark green or blue green in color and usually 1 to 1 ½ inches long. They have a sweet fragrance that is often used in holiday potpourri scents.

Needle Retention: Good
       Fragrance: Excellent
 Needle Softness: Excellent


Fraser Fir
The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. It requires from 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 feet tree.

Needle Retention: Excellent
       Fragrance: Excellent
 Needle Softness: Excellent


Scotch Pine
As a Christmas tree, it is known for its dark green foliage and stiff branches that are well suited for decorating with both light and heavy ornaments. It has excellent needle retention characteristics and holds up well throughout harvest, shipping, and display.

Needle Retention: Excellent
       Fragrance: Fair
 Needle Softness: Fair


White Pine
For Christmas trees needle retention is good to excellent. White pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species. The needles are very soft to the touch. However, they are unable to hold heavy ornaments. To produce a 6-foot tree requires 6-8 years.

Needle Retention: Good
       Fragrance: Fair
 Needle Softness: Excellent

Christmas Tree Selection

christmas-carroll-county-illinois-fresh-cut-treesBefore you select your tree, think about where you would like to display it in your home or business. Use a tape measure to verify the area you would like to fill. This will help narrow down the choices as you select your tree on the farm or retail lot.

Once on the farm or retail lot, do a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger. Then pull it toward you.

Very few needles should come off in your hand, if the tree is fresh. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal and will occur over the lifetime of the tree.

Make sure the handle or base of the tree is straight and 6-8 inches long so it will fit easily into the stand.

Once you have found your perfect tree, follow our care instructions to ensure freshness for the remainder of the season.

Caring For Your Tree

The best thing you can do for your fresh tree is water it often! When you get home, follow these simple steps and you will have a fresh tree throughout the holiday season.

  1. When you get home, set up your tree bag and stand. Cut one inch off of the base of the tree. This fresh cut will allow the tree to take in water. If you don’t do this, the base seals up with sap within minutes and will not take water.*
  2. Immediately set your tree into the stand filled with warm tap water.
  3. Keep your tree away from heat and draft sources like fireplaces, radiators, and television sets. Test your light cords and connections before hanging them on the tree to make sure they’re in good working order. Never use cords with cracked insulation or broken or empty sockets. Also be sure to unplug the lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Never overload electrical circuits
  4. Enjoy your tree and make sure to water it every day! Your fresh tree will take several quarts of water each day, if cared for properly. (You may be surprised to see your tree take in over a gallon each day in the beginning!)

* Please note: If you do not want to setup your tree right away when you get it home, keep it in a cool place like the garage for a couple of days. Follow the steps listed above when you are ready to put it up.

Recycling Facts

In a national survey, 66% of consumers who selected a Real Christmas Tree said they recycled theirs in community programs. Real Christmas Trees are recycled for five main types of large-scale uses for post-harvest trees. These are:

  • Chipping (chippings are used for various things from mulch to hiking trails)
  • Beach front erosion prevention
  • Lake and river shoreline stabilization
  • Fish habitat
  • River delta sedimentation management

Today around 98% of Real Christmas Trees are grown on farms throughout all 50 states and Canada. Real trees are a renewable, recycle resource, and Real Trees are planted to be harvested just as corn and/or pumpkins are cultivated for harvest.

For each Real Christmas Tree harvested, up to two new seedlings are planted in its place, depending on farm size and current field rotation. Young trees, in their rapid growth years, have a high rate of photosynthesis and thus produce more oxygen than older trees.

The cycle of environmental benefits that Real Christmas Trees provide begins when 35 million American families choose to celebrate the holiday season with a fresh real tree. Trees are given back to the environment via recycling programs. Then new seedlings are planted in the Spring. This year, over 70 million new seedlings will be planted by Christmas Tree farmers all over America.

We encourage you to contact your local tree farm to find out how you can recycle your tree this year and give back to your community.

This information courtesy of:

map-buttonDollinger Tree Farm
23882 Payne Road
Shannon, Illinois 61078

Choose and cut trees. Handmade wreaths of various sizes and colors. Lovely assortment of country and Victorian holiday decorations. Open first weekend of November, daily 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Open Thanksgiving Day 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

map-buttonWest Point Tree Farm
12306 West Point Road
Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053

Choose and cut Christmas trees available in the following varieties: Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine. Open weekends after Thanksgiving from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM or by appointment.

Winter in Carroll County

winter-carroll-county- il

From your backyard to ours…

Looking for a reason to get in the car to enjoy a splendid winter day in the country? Look no further than Carroll County, Illinois. With so much to see, experience, and do, there’s no better reason, or season, to discover the hidden treasures and pleasures of this region than winter. When autumn slips into winter, mile after magnificent mile of rolling hills and towering woodlands that make up our region transform into some of Illinois’ most spectacular visual winter wonderland.

What a delightful time to visit the country. Warm fires and hot drinks welcome you after eventful days of exhilarating outdoor fun. Carroll County is a great place for cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, winter hiking, and bird watching. Many splendid birds can be seen wintering near the Mississippi River, but none as majestic as the American Bald Eagle! Hundreds make their home on the river every year.

Stores are filled with holiday crafts, handmade jewelry, artwork, quilts, seasonal decorations, and much more. Restaurants are brimming with new menu choices and old favorites. Bed & Breakfasts offer delicious hot meals, while cabins offer comfy quilts and crackling fireplaces.

Come and enjoy what Carroll County has to offer this winter. Spend a weekend in one of our many cabins, hotels, or bed and breakfasts. Relax in front of a warm fire. Enjoy a glass of wine and a little leisure time before the hectic New Year kicks into gear.

We’re located just 30 minutes from Galena, 60 minutes from Rockford, and 90 minutes from Chicagoland. Carroll County is a perfect distance for a getaway before the season changes and life gets busy. We hope to see you soon!