Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Friday can be Fun Friday!

All right bargain huntresses, Black Friday is just around the corner.  The midnight shopping, wee morning hours, mobs of people, never ending lines, and aching feet. Remember those from last year?  Who wouldn’t need a drink after the race to that finish line?  Since you are going to be out and about anyway, why not meet afterwards for some girl time?  It will give you the opportunity to show off your bargains, get some wrapping done and nourish your body, soul and mind with good food and company.  Yes, I’ve got a party for it!

All right, this one is a no-brainer.  Quick and to the point, Thanksgiving is on its way and we have no time to delay! Use evite for the quickest invite.  You might say something like this:

Join the girls on Black Friday
after your shopping spree is done.
Let's get the gifts
all wrapped up
while we have some fun!

Ask each girlfriend to pick up a few rolls of wrapping paper, and some ribbons & bows on their way through the checkout and bring them to the gathering. It is always better to have too many wrapping materials than too few. This will also help to reduce the cost of wrapping for each person. Plus, moms take note: it is always nice to wrap your kids’ gifts in paper that isn’t physically in your own house so not to confuse the little ones and trigger ‘questions’. Lesson shared from my house to yours.

The house does not have to be spotless; everyone is busy with the holidays and should be very understanding. They will just be excited to hang out and put up their feet.  Plan to use the room in your house with the biggest area to wrap gifts.

Set up a wrapping station.  A large table donned with wrapping paper, scissors, bows, tape, gift tags, pens and 3×5 cards—all the accessories to make a girl’s wrapping complete. The cards can be used in lieu of gift tags –just tape to the bottom of their wrapped gift. On the 3×5 card they can write what is inside and who it is for.  Just be sure to tape the 3×5 card securely; it would be a shame to have to unwrap a gift just to find out what is inside and who it is for.  Another lesson shared from my house to yours. At the end of the evening send each guest home with unused paper and bows. (For those who are like me and want to coordinate their paper with their home décor, be sure to ask them to bring their paper as well as some to throw in the wrapping station for others.)

Food and Drink:
Make it simple– order out! Just make sure to order from someone who delivers. Pizza is the perfect comfort food.  Or Italian, Chinese—whatever you are in the mood for, just make sure you can call it in. You don’t want to have to stop on your way home; the day is too busy for that. Instead, let your fingers do the walking and you can do the talking—with your girlfriends.

While you’re shopping for Thanksgiving, just throw a few extra things in the cart.  Some ideal quick munchies might include:  Hummus and pita chips, pretzels and spicy mustard, pre-cut cheese and crackers, and carrots and veggie dip. Those are all things you can throw in a bowl and serve without having to think about it.

Some drink ideas to warm the soul:  Hot cocoa with a side pour of schnapps or Baileys, spiced eggnog or any holiday-spiced beer. Be sure to offer water as well. After all that running around, everyone is sure to need a little shot of H20. Of course you can always mix up an LBDC original cocktail!

Connecting Activities:
A lot of wrapping and chatting will be done at this gathering, so the activities will be pretty minimal. But some quick suggestions might include:
Quizzing everyone after the wrapping is done.  Write down the gifts that each girl is wrapping: What gift and to whom. Then afterwards, quiz the girls to see who was most observant. The one with the most correct answers wins.

Things to talk about. 1. What do you enjoy most about the holidays? 2. Are there any holiday traditions in your family that you feel are important to pass on? 3. If you could only remember one Holiday, which one would it be and why?  4. What is the most non-traditional thing you have adopted into your holidays?

Weirdest gift guess. Ask everyone to write down the weirdest gift ever received at the holidays. The hostess will read the answers randomly. The guests will try to match the weirdest gift with its receiver.  The one with the most correct answers wins.

Prizes and party favors are not necessary for the games or this party. The unused paper & bows will be enough.  It will be enriching just to learn some things about the girls that you never knew.

I hope you take time to turn the race of Black Friday into something special, a winning finale to the busiest shopping day of the year. Your girlfriends will be appreciative, even if the invite is last-minute.

Do you have any Black Friday traditions with your girlfriends? We'd love to hear about them in the comment form below.

Happy Shopping!
~Angee Billingsley
Creative Director, LBDC

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