Category: House & Heart

Christmas Decor for $1.00 {What to Buy at Dollar Tree This Year}

When I was in 5th grade, my friend’s mom let my friend and I explore the mall on our own – we went to Claires, Afterthoughts, and the dollar store. We giggled when we passed Victoria’s Secret and looked admiringly at the older girls shopping at 5*7*9. We then ate junior roast beef sandwiches from Arby’s before meeting back up with her mom at the agreed upon time. We were practically adults that afternoon. And there was nothing I loved more during my childhood than feeling like an adult. That’s probably why I was enamored with that dollar store at Westridge Mall in Phoenix, Arizona – I could afford buy what I wanted in that store with my paltry allowance.

Nowadays, my patronage dollar stores – particularly Dollar Tree – is limited to when I need certain craft supplies and inexpensive holiday decorations and gift receptacles. As with most things at Dollar Tree – Christmas decor can be hit or miss, which is why I decided to compile a list of my favorite things that I’ve picked up this year. The inventory at Dollar Tree is constantly changing and can vary by store so there is no guarantee if your store will has these items in stock but it’s worth popping in and checking out the selection. After all – you never know what you might find!

Hanging wooden sign. The store near me had quite the large selection of wooden holiday signs but this one was by far my favorite. The quality is fantastic for $1 and I love that it isn’t overly Christmas-y, which means it can stay up longer!

Thick cardboard gift boxes. These are a great deal for $1 – use them for cookies, gifts, or just as decoration on their own. Some had separate lids but most where bi-fold, which I absolutely love (see example below).

Gift tags.  I’m trying to up my wrapping game and these gift tags will allow me to do so without breaking the bank. In the past, I’ve just used the sticker-type tags that I’d buy in sheets at Target but there is just something so charming about a hand-tied gift tag so I’m going to try these this year.

Glass jars with garland and ribbon detail. How pretty are these simple glass jars? They’d be perfect for a bouquet of candy canes or cinnamon sticks to give as gifts, wouldn’t they?

Ornaments. These metal ornaments are my favorite. I tie them around door handles for a little extra Christmas cheer and use them as gift decorations. I’ve also hot glued them to wreaths and use them as part of centerpieces. They’re just a great universal holiday item at Dollar Tree.

Ornament-making supplies. A perfect inexpensive craft for kids (and adults).

Wreath-making supplies. Are these high-end craft supplies? No. Are they inexpensive? Yes. The wreath frames are a steal for $1 – at craft stores they are much higher priced.

Mugs. I thought these festive mugs were cute. They’d be good to fill with a homemade hot chocolate kit and give to neighbors and people you see out and about in the community.

As evident by this post, I still like to visit the dollar store from time to time. The kids enjoy going as well because it sort of feels like a treasure hunt each time we step foot in the store. And while I may not be able to visit Afterthoughts and 5*7*9 with my children (RIP), I can still take them to Dollar Tree and share a little bit of my childhood – at least around Christmas time.

Craving a Nostalgic Christmas

Clay and I have been in a nostalgic mood lately – at least when it comes to this holiday season. We’re making an effort not to focus too much on the gifts receive – although in full disclosure, I am asking for an Apple Watch so please don’t think that I’m putting myself up on a restraint and moderation pedestal. But we are definitely scaling back how we approach Christmas. It’s like we’re experiencing the old-fashioned holiday season we’ve been craving – one filled with family, warm embraces, and a thankful spirit. We may not have a fireplace in our current house but gosh golly, it sure does feel cozy this year.

The four of us have been cuddling on the couch under our favorite soft oversized blanket watching movies. On the drive home from our Thanksgiving holiday in Pennsylvania, we made a list of holiday movies to watch this year – most as a family and a handful for just Clay and I (the kids aren’t quite ready for Die Hard). Included on the list are classics such as Holiday Inn, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Shop Around the Corner – none of which (I’m somewhat embarrassed to type this) we’ve seen in their entirety. After we put the kids to bed the other night, Clay and watched Holiday Inn on Turner Classic Movies. Aside from a shocking (!) musical number in blackface, we enjoyed watching Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way across our screen.

The movie prompted a search of how the celebration of Christmas has changed over time. I stumbled across this article from Professor Arthur Purdue where he explores the fascination with the 18th-century countryside Christmas experience. I also found this Pew Research Center article about how Americans celebrate the holiday season now compared to their childhood. Both are worth a read and prove that we’re not alone in our desire for a less-commercialized Christmas experience.

In effort to capture some of the nostalgic Christmas spirit, we took the kids to the 48th Annual Scottish Walk Parade over the weekend. The sky was overcast and rain fell at various speeds as we watched Scottish clans, bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, dogs, and reenactment groups march through Old Town Alexandria. The weather was reminiscent of the day we spent in Edinburgh a few years ago and as we dined on mussels and steak frites at Columbia Firehouse afterwards, we all agreed that it was the perfect start to December.