- Hot pink princess ear muffs: $1.
- A big box of 48 birthday candles: $1.
- Four 5x7 genuine hardwood photo frames: $2.99 each.
- A set of four photo coasters: $2.99.
- Two 48-inch plastic sleds: $8.99 apiece.
Can you believe the deals I found during my December 2008 visit to the Christmas Tree Shops store in Hyannis, Massachusetts? If you're familiar with this discount chain, founded in New England in 1970, then I'm sure you're not stunned at all. If you're unfamiliar with Christmas Tree Shops, however, you're in for a true treat when you discover one of these bargain emporiums during your New England travels.
Although the chain was acquired by Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2003 and has stores in 22 states as of 2012, the Christmas Tree Shops are most densely concentrated in New England (find locations), particularly on Cape Cod, and they retain their folksy charm and inspire impulsive shopping in practically everyone who walks in the door: not just penny-pinching Yankees.
Although the Christmas Tree Shops are particularly busy in December, when the hunt is on for bargain gifts and stocking stuffers, they're actually open year-round, and they offer New England vacationers a fun place to hunt for affordable, out-of-the-ordinary souvenirs.
What exactly will you find at a Christmas Tree Shop? The incredible variety of merchandise includes gifts, stationery, toys, paper goods, home furnishings, cookware, accessories, food, housewares, cleaning products, candles, seasonal decorations and more. Many items are priced at less than $5, and you'll be hard-pressed to find many that cost more than $20. We did see one item that had an astronomical price tag during our visit to the Hyannis store: a $249 Nutcracker. Of course, he was almost as tall as me!
Read on for my tips on how to make the most of your Christmas Tree Shops visit.