The debate over real Christmas trees versus artificial trees is raging once again as the big day approaches. Do you want a tree that is real and green or white and fake? Do you like tinsel or not? Do you prefer white lights to colored lights that are more retro? Will your color scheme be monochromatic or multi-colored? Do you prefer handcrafted ornaments to mass-produced manufactured ones? Do you mix new ornaments with family heirlooms?
Whatever your choices are when it comes to tree trimmings, the North Fork is the place to be. Here are ten picks for Christmas 2010 in no particular order. They all offer a wide assortment of ornaments and tree trimmings including lights, ornaments, tinsel and garlands. All are reasonably priced so you don't have to break the bank this year.
1. The Arcade Department Store at 14 Front Street in Greenport is a must. Take advantage of the storewide clearance sale featuring discounts of up to 75%. You can buy miniature snow globe or sleigh ornaments with your name on them to add a customized touch to your tree or stock up on ornamental Christmas tree balls in green, gold, red and silver. They are unbreakable which means they will last longer than the old-fashioned glass globes that often ended up in pieces on the living room floor.
2. located in the Waldbaum's Shopping Center on the Main Road in Mattituck has it all — lights, tinsel, ornaments, Christmas tree skirts, mugs and cookies for Santa. Prices are great and the store is open late if you have to run out and get a new set of lights or some extra special ornaments to give your tree an added push this year. Need a tree to trim? They have them for as little as $10 dollars. The artificial trees are about three feet tall and come in white or green.
on the corner of Main Road and Marlene's Lane in Mattituck is stocked up for the season. The store has a wide variety of lights and ornaments. You can buy wrapping paper and Christmas cards here then do a little Christmas shopping. Pick up perfume, lipstick, and paperback novels if you need stocking stuffers.
4. on Love Lane in Mattituck just past the post office is an ideal spot if you like to shop in a small store. This year Bauer's has a wide selection of artificial wreaths, table and mantelpiece ornaments as well as Christmas tree decorations. Take your pick of sea shells, snowflakes and butterflies all of which can hang gracefully from your tree.
5. at 102 Main Street is one of the highlights of the Holiday Season for Christmas tree enthusiasts. The store has more than half a dozen fully decorated Christmas trees that form the core of the store's display for the holiday season. The ornaments are striking, unusual and artistic. These are not Grandma's Christmas tree balls. Ornaments include kayaking Santas, white starfish, seashells, fish, birds, sleds, boats. Some are made of wood, others are light weight plastic and some are made from hand-blown glass. Prices range from $3 to $12. Go in and check out the trees. You might get an idea for a theme for your own tree this year.
6. at 1550 Old Country Road in Riverhead, is not to be missed at Christmas time. This store has it all. Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, tinsel, wreathes, garlands and more. The Depot has indoor and outdoor ornaments so you can go crazy with the reindeer on your front lawn if you want to. You can shop online and buy ornaments for yourself or have them sent out as gifts. Martha Stewart devotees will love it here this year. They have her stuff. Weekdays, you can hit the Depot from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Check out their website to review merchandise and be sure to watch the excellent video on how to trim your tree.
7. Target at 1150 Old Country Road in Riverhead is another superstore that cannot be overlooked during the holidays. This place has it all when it comes to decorations and gifts at affordable prices. The store has a wide assortment of ornaments, lights and garlands for both indoors and out. Special holiday hours have been in effect since Nov. 21. Target is open from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday. On Christmas Eve you can run out and get that extra set of lights for the tree until 8:00 p.m.
8. Kmart at 605 Old Country Road in Riverhead is a big box store that packs a punch when it comes to Christmas ornaments. There are more than 900 items to choose from. You can shop online or take a ride to Riverhead. Christmas tree lights, ornaments, and other indoor and outdoor decorations are yours for the picking. Buy a tree, take it home, trim it then put a wreath on your front door before you start stringing lights on your porch. Kmart never sleeps during the Christmas season. The store is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.
9. Walmart at 765 Old Country Road in Riverhead has a selection of tree ornaments that is enormous, off beat, creative, and affordable. Shop the store or shop on line for yourself or friends and family. Walmart is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until midnight, which gives you plenty of time to get there and back and put up your tree.
10. TJ Maxx at 1120 Old Country Road in Riverhead is fully stocked with tree ornaments, wreaths and centerpieces for your table or mantelpiece. Some outstanding Christmas tree skirts are available too. Many of the decorations can be used inside as well as outdoors. Selection is snazzy and stylish. TJ Maxx is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Sunday.