Ace is the place...for Christmas decor and preparations!
Though the selection is not as expansive as big box shops, Ace Hardware has the advantage of being very near our house. Perhaps there is one in your neighborhood too? There are 4,400 of them across the USA.
We opted to buy an 8-foot tree (retails for approximately $35). This is the first year (since we've been married - that's almost eleven years!) that we've had a real tree. Our tree has quite a wide girth and Tim is already sighing about the pins and needles on our floor, but the smell is lovely. No doubt about that.
We strung the tree with LED Warm White lights (on-sale for $5.99!). Interspersed with the lights are dark red glass bulbs (a matching set from many years ago), mixed with handmade advent ornaments (thanks to a friend). A Color Changing Star perches at the top.
We used the same white lights to garnish our house. They're quite simple, but that is our style. Minimal. Quiet. Clean. P.S. This picture is very representative of our house. White walls. Globes. Homeschooling supplies. Word games. Books, book, books.
When you first enter through our front door, you'll find a little nativity set in a cut-out space. Tim purposefully kept the wise men a slight distance from Joseph & Mary and the newborn babe since they technically didn't arrive until after the manger.
Our pipes are also ready for winter now, thanks to insulation we bought at Ace. If the temperatures would drop below 70 degrees, I'd tell you how it's working (that's a Southern Arizona winter for you!). ;)
Ace Hardware also has artificial trees, indoor & outdoors lights, wreaths, and wrapping paper. Plus, gifts and gift cards!
Does your family opt for a real or artificial tree? How did you decorate this year?
* Thanks to Ace Hardware for providing a gift card to our family so that we could share our shopping experience with you.