Yesterday I ventured to Garden Ridge for the first time in many months, if not a year or more. I actually really like the store, but it's huge and exhausting, and not somewhere that I could take a toddler safely. If you're not familiar with the place, it's a home decor/craft store that's the size of a large warehouse. Probably a third of the square footage is fake floral supplies--artificial bushes, leaves, flowers, etc of every shape size and color imaginable, plus pots, foam wire, ribbons, etc. Imagine the floral section of your local Michaels. Now imagine your local Michaels *was* a floral section. That covers most of it. They also have huge areas of candles, glassware, framed artwork, furniture, housewares (cookware, dishes, cake decorating supplies), baskets.
At this time of the year, I think at least half of the store is dedicated to Christmas decorations. Actaully, "this time of the year" lasts about 5 months, because I know they had Christmas stuff on sale before Halloween, so it must have been there since like, February. In any case, it's a fun place to wander around. They have a lot of everything--christmas lights in any color, pattern, etc you can think of, 50 kinds of Christmas trees, lawn ornaments of every size, color, and theme. And their stuff is really reasonably priced.
I actually went to buy a pair of "pre-lit porch trees" to put by our front door--we'd like the look last year, but didn't want to pay $50 each for little trees with lights and pots. Of course, I had to wander around the rest of the stuff. Some of their merchandise is really tempting--they have beautiful collections of Christmas ornaments, and an entire aisle of angels for the top of the tree. Their lights are always a good deal, and you can get a particular color or style and know that they have 50million in stock (well, now they do...by Thanksgiving much of it will be gone I'm sure). The huge light-up snow globes and dancing raindeer I can definitely do with out. I was oddly tempted by the 6-foot nutcracker statues, but 1) I have no idea where I would put it and 2) I have no idea where I would store it. (Funny, I have the same reaction to the suits of armor they frequently carry....luckily for my living room they've been out the time or two I'd decided to actually buy one).
I managed to leave the place with just my porch trees, a pair of candle rings and 3 cherub ornaments. If I manage to avoid the place for the rest of the season, then my wallet (and storage are) will probably thank me...