girls shoppingBy Lauren Fenton
Whether your friends and family are hitting the mall or searching for bargains online, the day after Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to host an open house for people to take a breather, compare notes and recharge for the next go-round of shopping. Keep it casual with a lunchtime party that gives early risers the chance to stop by their favorite stores in the morning and share their best finds with guests who have decided to sleep in. A menu of leftovers means none of your hard work preparing the perfect turkey goes to waste. Photo by Getty Images
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Focus the party's activities around ways to make bargain hunting less hectic.
1 In the week leading up to Black Friday, have guests clip coupons and scan circulars for deals. Then everyone can swap information about the best ones they've seen.
2 Mall parking can be a nightmare on Black Friday. Arrange a pre- or post-party carpool as part of your event.
3 If your friends and family are tightly knit, consider visiting stores in teams and divvying up shopping lists. At places like Walmart and Target, one person can head to a particular section while another hits a different spot.
4 Create Black Friday care packs for your guests to take with them on their afternoon forays into stores. Include a bottle of water, a healthy snack (like a granola bar or an apple), gum and hand sanitizer.
5 Set up a pampering station for weary shoppers who've been up since the wee hours. Stock it with scented lotions, stress balls, head massagers and other goodies.
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The No-Cook Menu
Break out the leftover turkey (along with a few delicious add-ons) and set up a DIY sandwich bar. Toasting optional.
Asian lettuce wrap
turkey + carrots + cucumber + mint + scallions + Asian vinaigrette in lettuce leaves
Barbecue turkey roll
turkey + barbecue sauce + coleslaw + pickles on a soft roll
Tex-Mex turkey wrap
turkey + salsa + Pepper Jack cheese + black beans in a flour tortilla
Curried turkey sandwich
turkey + mango chutney + curry mayo on brown bread
Italian turkey sub
turkey + salami + roasted red pepper + red onion + shredded romaine + Italian vinaigrette on a hoagie
What Guests Should Bring
Have guests bring old or spare holiday cards to swap at the party. People can take home their favorites and repurpose them as festive gift tags for Black Friday purchases.
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Brainstorm Gift Ideas
One of the hardest parts of the holidays is figuring out exactly what to get everyone on your list, so make this get-together a forum for sharing brilliant gift suggestions. Tape up some large paper on a blank wall to create a chart with recipient categories (husband, young girl, teenage boy, grandparents). Ask guests to fill in suggestions for each category. Or do a brainstorming session as you mark answers on the chart. When it's complete, everyone can scan the wall for inspiration-and make a mental note of ideas as they continue shopping after the get-together.
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