Your Guide for Shopping Sales

Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re planning to brave the evening or early morning crowds to score some Black Friday deals, there are a few things to do to prepare:

Review the flyers.With crowds at all-time highs, Black Friday isn’t the time to be a browser. Instead, peruse the flyers and websites and know what you want before your alarm goes off that morning. Skipping this step can mean missing out on the best deals.

Consider your budget.It can be easy to get caught up in the frenzy and overspend. Decide how much you want to spend and stick to it. Also do a quick Google search to see if coupons or promotions are available above and beyond the sale prices.

Make a plan.Timing is everything on Black Friday. Create a plan based on the hours of the stores you want to hit and their geographical location. If you want one of the best deals, you’ll have to be there when they open. If you shop with friends, make a plan to divide and conquer.

Get there early.The early bird gets the worm. The best deals go quickly, and you don’t want to miss out on your chance to bring them home.

Pack some refreshments.Black Friday shopping requires stamina and energy. Pack healthy snacks and drinks that keep you filled up and hydrated. Good choices are nuts, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, water and juice. Bringing your own food means you’ll avoid the temporary spike and big crash that high-fat, high-sugar fast foods can bring.

Don’t wait.If you love it, buy it. If you decide to think about it, you risk that it will be gone when you return.

Trends: Holiday Color Palettes

Red and green, and silver and gold are traditional holiday color combinations, but lots of color can feel festive when you let your imagination play. HGTV recently offered some unexpected holiday color palettes. Here are two to consider:

Green + Brown

Mother Nature has great taste, and you can always count on color combinations found in the great outdoors. Green and brown will lend an earthy feel to your holiday décor, feeling a rustic and natural.

Parchment + White

You can never go wrong when you stick to neutrals in home décor, and the same is true with holiday decorating. This pair offers an understated elegance, relying on pattern and a touch of sparkle to convey your holiday best.

4 Hostess Gift Ideas

Flowers or wine are a nice thought, but imagine the look of delight when you bring your hostess a gift she can use throughout the holiday season! Art Van Furniture’s Wonderland Holiday Collection offers unique pieces that are sure to please. Here are four items that will make you the favorite guest at the next event:

A copper-plated stainless steel ice bucket will be a welcome and useful gift. Dress it up by placing a potted succulent inside. Your hostess can set it out for display, or use it immediately to enhance the gathering!

Celebrate your host with a holiday toast—and a pair of these wine glasses by kate spade new york. Pair with a nice bottle of wine or put a bow on the stem and present them alone.

A holiday accent is always a fun gift to receive, and these winter reindeer are dressed to impress. Gift your hostess one, two or all three, and watch the smile light up her face.

The farmhouse trend has made birdcages super chic, and this handcrafted holiday decoration would be a wonderful hostess gift. A perfect accent for a kitchen or entryway, the rustic touch is quaint and festive.

3 Thanksgiving Centerpieces You’ll Love For a Long Time

Flowers are a nice touch to the Thanksgiving, but they don’t last forever. Instead, why not invest in a piece you can use from year to year, creating a traditional look that will become a family favorite. Here are three centerpiece options – and they all ship for free.

A potted pumpkin and gourd topiary with colorful maple leaves adds height to your table, and would look beautiful flanked by candles or all by itself.

This beautiful rustic lantern is filled with fall foliage and the LED lights will make it shine. Use one on a small table or three to create a show-stopping display.

A wreath may be a great accent on your door, but it also makes a great statement on your dining table. Place a pillar candle in the center, for an easy way to dress up the table.

How to Host a Friendsgiving

What’s better than Thanksgiving dinner? How about two Thanksgiving dinners!! Family gatherings are important and traditional, but a growing trend is hosting a Friendsgiving, a special Thanksgiving-style dinner with your favorite friends.

Hold it before Thanksgiving to create a trial run for the big day, or after to make the most of leftovers or serve something completely different.

Here are some things to consider before hosting your Friendsgiving:

Consider potluck. Friendsgiving is the perfect time to hold a potluck, making it easier than Thanksgiving because no one person will be in charge of the entire meal. Assign specific dishes or a category, such as veggies or dessert. Or be bold and enjoy whatever dishes show up in hand.

Set a theme. Another dinner-planning idea is to choose a theme and have guests bring something that fits. For example, set a theme of Italian, Chinese farm-to-table or even deep-fried. This could be a nice break from your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Make sure to accommodate special diets. Check in with friends and see if anyone has food allergies or intolerances, or follows a special diet, such as vegan or Paleo. Then make sure you have enough on your menu to fill them up.

Think about drinks. If you are serving alcohol, plan how you’ll stock your bar. You can make it easy and serve just wine or beer. Or create a special cocktail for the day, such as a special martini or mixed drinks. Or set out what guests will need for the most common drinks.

Decide if you want a special décor. Thanksgiving dinner usually includes a special holiday tablescape with a centerpiece, place settings, napkins and place cards. Friendsgiving, however, can be as festive or casual as you wish.

Do you hold Friendsgiving? Share you favorite tips in the comments below!