Thanksgiving is the older step-sibling with a house and plants and fulltime job and a birthday always ends up being forgotten because everyone is too excited about Christmas. I kind of feel bad for Thanksgiving. I don’t feel bad enough to not brush the dust off of my Christmas decor storage bin because I use decorations to launch myself into the holiday spirit, whichever that holiday might be.
If you’re like me and you love holiday decorations but you need them on a budget, here are the top five best places to buy Christmas stuff without having to tip your wallet upside-down and shake it to start counting the change that falls out.
Walmart is my go-to for decorations (or snacks, or make-up, or shoes, or umbrellas when I forget my purple one at home, but that’s beside the point). Walmart has a huge variety of stuff, like fake snow for shelves and tables, snowmen, penguins, everything Santa Claus, and a beautiful aisle of color-sorted tree ornaments. It can easily be your one-stop shop for Christmas decorating.
- Dollar General
Dollar General always has a decent Christmas aisle filled with Santa Claus and reindeer things, but if you don’t get here early in the season, the general winter decorations like snowmen and penguins will be gone. If you beat the decoration rush, you’ll get some great deals on a lot of medium-quality stuff for your dorm, apartment, desk, etc.
- Five Below
The holiday section at Five Below always seems to engulf half of the store, no matter what holiday we’re preparing for, and they always have a good stock of decorations. Most of their seasonal stuff, though, tends to be closer to $5 rather than $1, so this is a good place if you need one or two things to brighten up a room but not if you’re decorating from scratch.
- Joann Fabrics
Did someone say “coupon?” If not, then maybe use Joann’s as a last resort. Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to spend several hours walking around Joann’s, mesmerized by the amazing variety, but if you’re not careful, you won’t have any money left for even dollar store gifts. Don’t do that to your grandma.
- Christmas Town (seasonal, located in Westmoreland Mall)
Personalized ornaments are a specialty here, but they have a few small decorations for desks, coffee tables, or mantles here as well. The sales rep will usually give you a deal if you buy more than one personalized ornament, so team up with your roommate or your best friend before you go. My boyfriend and I get our names on a new ornament every year, and it’s a great keepsake.