On the first day of Christmas, Costco gave to me, super cheap Christmas trees (and huge rolls of wrapping paper and ribbons and old-school English gift crackers and fresh double-wire wreaths). On the second day of Christmas, Costco gave to me...well, it gave me back my life because I didn't need to go anywhere else to round out my Christmas prep.
So, I'm a serious Costco lover. One of the first things I did when I moved into my new apartment was beeline straight to the membership counter. I dutifully use that membership year round (a girl needs her bulk-sized packages of La Croix to get through the week, now doesn't she?), but there is no other point on the calendar where I'm more grateful for being a card-carrying Costco shopper than the holiday season. Here's why:
The $35* Christmas Trees
Of course, part of the magic of getting a Christmas tree is going to the lot, seeing the Balsam and Frasier and Noble firs all open and arranged for your choosing. The experience is not quite the same at Costco...you basically go out front where the Christmas tree farm truck is parked, pick a tree from a lineup (that you can't really see fully because they're all wrapped up), and load that baby onto your car. However, after years of spending three times that much to buy my tree under a festively lit tent, I realized, it's totally fine. I'd rather save the money for something else, like gifts or charity donations. The true magic is in decorating it anyway.
*At least they are $35 in my neck of the woods.
The $20 Fresh Wreaths
I'm not talking dinky little half-dead wreaths. These are double-layered, bushy and adorned wreaths I was concerned might even be too big for my front door. Compared to the fresh wreaths at the Christmas tree lot (which run at least double that where I live), these are basically free.
The $12 Double-Sided Jumbo Roll of Wrapping Paper
Growing up, my dear mother did not believe in spending money on nice gift wrap. It was basically see-through dollar store rolls all the way, with our names scribbled on folded up paper scraps taped to the top. Which is totally and completely fine considering all of that ends up in the trash anyway, but you see, I love a finely wrapped gift. I used to dream of growing up and working in the gift wrapping section of the fanciest department store (until those basically went extinct). So as soon as I got my own money, part of my budget was set aside for wrapping paper and bows and ribbons. But I'd end up spending so much unnecessarily even at budget big box stores. That is, until I figured out that I could get it all at Costco for far less and for comparable or better quality. One thing to note: the $12 roll is about the equivalent of three (or more!) rolls of your standard offering, so though the price might seem high, you're really getting a hefty helping per roll. And if you like a little variety in your paper, you'll even find double-sided rolls that offer two coordinating designs. (Oh, and don't pass up the giant display of ribbons either for wrapping and decorating).
...& So Many Other Miscellaneous Things to Love
It's not Christmas at my house without a Panettone, which, spoiler alert, is far more affordable at Costco than at my go-to standard grocery store. Oh, and this year I even saw the most fabulous set of crackers (not the kind you add to a cheese plate, but rather the English kind with little surprise gifts inside)! Perhaps it's time to start a new tradition in my family...one I'll be able to afford because my tree only cost $35, thank you very much.
Go on, tell us all the ways you love Costco and what treasures you find there this time of year!