Decorating For Christmas Nell Hill’s Way

December 9, 2008 · Print This Article

Decorating for Christmas took on a whole new meaning for me and my two girls… after I took a business trip to the Midwest.   I came home excited to share what I had discovered.  Christmas decorating could be easy, simple, yet elegant.   Emily and Katie, my two girls and I, went immediately shopping… to revitalize our Christmas decorations.

The pictures in this post are from Emily’s home…inspired by my trip and the book, “Nell Hills, Decorating for Christmas.” by Mary Carol Garrity.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Northeast Arkansas was the final business destination for me and my two friends, Marie and Jill.  But, we took a little detour to Kansas City Mo. to see a few historic sites we were all interested in.

Before we left, Lisa, a good friend and a fantastic home decorator, told us of a store that… with out a doubt… we should not miss seeing.  She said, perhaps it was the best merchandised store she had ever seen.   With that recommendation …it was a store we weren’t going to miss.

“Nell Hills” is a store owned and operated by Mary Carol Garrity about 50 miles west of Kansas City, Mo…in a little town on the bend of the Missouri River called Atchison, Kansas.

Now I want to tell you… this place is out in the “boonies”….no freeway running by this place!  When we crossed the river from Missouri into Atchison, we all looked at each other like… “You’ve got to be kidding.”  “What could be in his little town… out here in “no-where”?

Wow! Were we pleasantly surprised!  It was a Monday morning… the third week in October…and you should have seen the line standing at the door waiting to get in.  “Where did all these people come from?”

When the doors opened, we were greeted by a smiling face… Mary herself… inviting us to look around, feel comfortable, and if we needed help, please ask.  I was so amazed at what was before my eyes… it took me a minute to realize I was actually in a store.  It was a Christmas decoration fairy land, a decorator’s dream, a home furnishings mecca.

Shopping baskets were placed in our hands and away we went.. moving from room to room… filling them to the brim with Christmas decorations, gifts and home decor items.  When our baskets were full, a sweet little lady offered to take them to the check-out area…as she placed new baskets in our hands.

At the check-out area, our baskets lined the wall like the Union Pacific.  “Did we buy all that?”  We started to load our rental car and realized there was no room for our bodies.  So…back into Nell Hills to have it shipped home…which they were more than willing to do.

While there, we purchase Mary’s book “Nell Hills Decorating for Christmas”…which she graciously signed.  What a read… or  should I say…what a look.

If you ever get out to the Kansas City area… don’t miss going on a little drive in the country to Nell Hill’s home decor emporium in Atchinson, Kansas.  You’re in for a treat!

Thanks Em… for letting me take photos.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  This little out of the way place attracts 75,000 visitors a year. Most of Nell Hill’s Kansas customers come from 50 to 100 miles away.  That says a lot for service and fantastic merchandise.  Christmas decorating could not be more easy and elegant Nell Hill’s way.

P.P.S.  Here are Nell Hills books… Each one is a jewel.

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