Dear Five Below,

Thank you for existing. Like, okay, that sounds really cheesy. But for real, I don't know what I would do without you.

When I need a birthday present in a pinch, I visit you. When I have a white elephant gift exchange, I visit you. And when I know I need something kind of random of questionable quality that I really only need for about two hours, I definitely visit you. Where else can I get a tapestry that is $4 and the size of two bandannas sewed together? Or a giant Ferrero Rocher candy? Or leggings with Santa Claus's face repeated all down the legs and reindeer along the top waistband?

Your portable chargers are really legit and work well; why spend $19.99 on one at Target when Five Below is right there? Your ugly Christmas sweaters are great, and your blankets are cozy. If I ever needed a knockoff Snapback, you bet I'd be there. You're also one of the only places I've found to routinely stock both Pineapple AND Peach Fanta (although I don't recommend trying it). And I appreciate those giant boxes of Nerds that I ALWAYS laugh at in the checkout line.

I also really appreciate the comical humor of trying to guess something's price based on what it is - this is a doable activity because you've so generously set price parameters on yourself. For example, I understand that your clothes are usually $5. But having knockoff Lokai bracelets for $4.50? Wow, you stump me every time. And your candy being under $1 is also amazing. Speakers for $3? Pillows for $4? But your mugs are still usually $5, and the sheer unpredictability of these price tags is just fun for everyone involved.

I continue to laugh at your locations, because you are always seemingly right in the middle of your overpriced capitalistic competitions. Next to TJ Maxx, or Target, or even across the street from the Dollar Tree... you do not give a HECK, and I, for one, appreciate it fully. You're always conveniently located near a Party City too, so when I scramble for a birthday present, I can buy an overpriced balloon before visiting you and spending $10 on something that would have cost me $25 anywhere else, so I ultimately end up feeling good about myself. And you have some cute tissue paper for in-car wrapping. Thank you for that as well.

Finally, of course, thank you for being $5 and below. It is a financially secure feeling to walk into a store and know that I can purchase anything in that establishment. Plus, you have some really great stuff -- my Christmas wrapping would be so sad without your 5 for $4 mint chocolate bark bars on top of each package, and I got a ton of compliments on my flashing light necklace at every holiday event that I attended this year. Thank you for helping us all ball on a budget with cool stuff, and thank you especially for always having a lot of big, rainbow bouncy balls (and never having your employees yell at me for playing with them).

I love you.


A frequent flyer