On Christmas Tree Shops-Related Shame

There are two kinds of people in the world. (Ok, there are a helluva lot more than two kinds of people in the world, but for the sake of this entry, we’re going to focus on two.) The kind who gleefully frequent stores like Christmas Tree Shops and their ilk (your Big Lots, Odd Lots, Ocean State Job Lots, etc.) and those who do so shamefacedly, probably while wearing enormous sunglasses to help conceal their identity. (You might say that I’ve forgotten a third group, the group that does not frequent this type of shop at all, to which I would reply that anyone who claims not to ever go to this type of store is either lying or my husband. Or both.)

I am totally in the second group. Totally. I am eco-minded, design-minded, a wannabe Maker. I am ashamed of my secret love for this kind of store, the kind stuffed to the brim with imported-from-China low-quality CRAP that no one needs and few people would admit to wanting. Pumpkin-shaped votives? Yes, please. Faux-berry wreaths with half the berries missing? I’ll take two. The Polish version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, of dubious expiration date but decidedly bargain-level price? Hell to the yum.

Now, that’s all well and good, because I can more or less keep my dalliances with Christmas Tree Shops hidden when that’s the kind of merchandise I’m selecting. I mean, the Polish Cinnamon Toast Crunch is in the pantry. Who’s going to see it? The wreaths and pumpkin-shaped votives could be from ANYWHERE. The problem comes in when I do things like agree to take my son shopping for Halloween decorations at Christmas Tree Shops, and subsequently agree to purchasing an ill-advised scarecrow of unusual size. (What was I supposed to do? It was only SIX DOLLARS, people!) You see, now said scarecrow is perched outside our door (Actually, he’s staked. Do things that have been staked “perch”? Namely, scarecrows? Anyone?) for everyone in the world to see. And that would be fine, except that in our neighborhood, every other house has one of these scarecrows. Meaning, of course, that everyone KNOWS. They KNOW. My shameful secret is out on display for the world to see and judge, a scarlet letter “A” wearing burlap pants and a jaunty feathered hat.

On the up side, maybe this frees me up to make more unnecessary shopping trips.


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