Holiday Shopping Party

Can you believe it's time to go Christmas shopping yet again? Or are you one of those people who does it all year long? I hate people like that. Too organized for me.

Anyway, my idea is to get all my friends together and have a shopping party. And at the end of the day, over dinner, we compare what we bought, what bargains we found--a kind of show and tell!

Christmas Shopping Party Invitations
Send out a personalized Christmas shopping invitation to get the party started right! Pick a Saturday or Sunday (whichever you think is best--you know your friends better than I). Start the shopping day at 1 p.m. or so. End it in time to meet for dinner. Make it a "progressive" shopping trip. You know, like a progressive dinner but better yet.

Depending on how many people you're inviting, use a van or even rent a mini-bus with a driver who will handle all those packages. Imagine not having to walk to a parking space carrying all that stuff (it's worth it right there!); the driver can wait at the door. Split the cost among you, it won't be much. And it will be SO much fun.

There may be a craft festival or two in your area you also want to attend. Check it out when making your plans. You should also insert an RSVP that asks them to list their favorite stores for this "progressive" shopping trip. Don't forget to tell them how much it will cost for the bus rental (if you're splitting the cost). Something like this:
You're invite to a
Progressive Holiday Shopping Party!

Time
Date
Hosted By

Meet at…(this should be where dinner is being held)
Transportation provided…(that means no parking, no dragging gifts to the car)
1 p.m. until after dinner and "show and tell"
(I'll show you my bargains, if you show me yours!)
Transportation cost per person: $25

RSVP with your list of favorite stores…to:
(your address here)
We also have a great selection of personalized Christmas invitations and personalized ticket invitations that work great for this theme!

Christmas Wearables and Decorations
Since this is really a “mobile” party, you probably won’t have a lot of traditional decorations. But you and your guests can decorate yourselves with fun Christmas wearables like a whimsical Santa chimney hat. Or just go with the classic felt Santa hat, and everyone can write their names on the brim, or decorate them with glitter or bells.

It's not necessary, but if it were me, I'd have to decorate the van or bus—just because. Red bows on the seats, a personalized banner outside the bus (very inexpensive), a Christmas CD playing, and a special outfit for your driver (I vote for plush reindeer antlers) will make the traveling a festive affair. Just don't forget a generous tip!

On each seat of the bus, leave a Holiday shopping goody bag. Call the stores that are on your list, tell them your coming and see if they'll give you a sample, a coupon or something else to put in the bag. Also, a nice touch would be a personalized bottle of water and a fruit snack.

You definitely want to pass out personalized disposable cameras to the group so everyone can document the shopping extravaganza. You are sure to have lots of great photo opportunities. You can make it really fun by giving everyone a matching t-shirt so that everyone knows that your a group. Make it really fun…you know, give your group a name…like "Just Ten Moms Who Shop." And that way it will be harder for Aunt Kathy to get lost in the sales racks when it is time for the bus to move on to the next stop!

At dinner, whether you are going to a restaurant with a party room (I vote for that) or hosting it at your home, you may want to make a centerpiece out of wrapped gifts, with fabulous bows and ribbons. Seems simple enough!

Progressive Shopping Trip Activities
Beside the shopping of course, you can schedule a few more fun activities throughout the day. While on the bus, between stops, have your guests get up and give their very own shopping tips. Or if someone knows something special about your next stop, let them take the floor!

And don't forget the show and tell. It's like a wedding shower or baby shower, but better! You may see something that someone else bought at Stop No. 4, realize it's perfect for your brother and run out and buy it the next chance you get.

Have a contest to see who got the most shopping done during the day and give a gag gift pertaining to the "poor house" or something like that. If you have time after dinner you can all sit together and wrap some of your gifts, which will give everyone a head start!

Have a happy shopping trip!