* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

Ten Tips for Camping Out on Black Friday

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for gathering with your family and for a delicious, home-cooked meal while you all reflect on the wonderful year spent together and enjoy each other’s company.

But these days, Thanksgiving dinner is the carbo-loading energy pregame to a fierce evening of camping out, competitive shopping and scoring the best deals on electronics and perfume. That’s right – Black Friday. And Black Friday doesn’t even start on Friday anymore. It has filtered over onto Thursday, which just so happens to be Thanksgiving. Or as we like to call it, “Gold Mine Thursday.” Get it, because the Black Friday deals are like striking a gold mine? We hope that catches on.

Since the media and major companies skip right ahead to Christmas the moment after you blow out the candle in your Jack-o-Lantern anyway, why not spend your Thanksgiving gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year? Luckily for you, we have created a top 10 list of some of the best ways to effectively and efficiently plan your Black Friday journey.

Your family would rather you run out and get them the 50-inch TV for $100 than spend any more time with them on Thanksgiving anyway, right? This year, you’ll be thankful for Red Bull and trail mix.

  1. Take your Thanksgiving dinner to go. Why not get a head of everyone else in the area and just skip the Thanksgiving meal altogether? Wrap up the delicious dinner to go in some aluminum foil and Tupperware, throw them in a climate-controlled lunch box, and you’re ready to feast all night.


  1. Hand warmers. Your hands will be so cold from texting and typing on your iPad, so keep the frost bite at bay with some hand warmers. They can also double as mini heaters to wrap around your leftovers.
  2. To get your much-needed caffeine (and another way to stay warm), bring a warm thermos of coffee. The bigger (and more shots of espresso), the better. To really stay awake all night, use this recipe for Honey Boo Boo’s Go Go Juice.


  1. Set up a tent with blankets, sleeping bags and pillows. Because the longer you wait outside, the better chance you have of being the first in the door to score the best deals. Set up your mini-home as early as the morning of Thanksgiving to really make yourself feel warm and comfortable while you camp out.


  1. Forget the flashlight; bring an entire generator. How else are you going to be able to keep your iPad, phone and laptop charged? You know you’ll be hooked up to your electronic devices the entire time you’re camped out.  


  1. Don’t forget your best running shoes with strong traction, and athletic pants. Once the doors open, it’s go time. You better be prepared to sprint through that Best Buy like your life depends on it. Because let’s be honest – it does.


  1. Bring snacks with you that should include, but aren’t limited to, protein bars, trail mix, bananas and granola. You’ll need a lot of energy to sprint through the automatic double doors (see above).


  1. Helmet, knee pads and shin guards. Look, we’re not advocating violence or that you instigate any violence yourself. But these crowds are known to get rowdy, so it's best to be prepared with some defensive gear.


  1. Keep an emergency makeup kit with you. Sure, you’ll be camping out in the cold. Sure, you’ll be more worried about surviving than looking good. But keep in mind all of the selfies and Instagram possibilities. You might even make the local news! A quick swipe of mascara and some lip gloss can work wonders.


  1. Or, you can skip the Black Friday shopping altogether! Why don’t you stay at home and enjoy your family and the holiday. Plus, when you make the selfish choice to shop on Black Friday, you are forcing other employees to work – employees who may want to actually stay at home with their families for the holiday. Just think about it. You can shop Cyber Monday from the comfort of your own desk (sans pants!), and NOT miss a major holiday.

While you’re at it, send your retail friends a Thinking of You Card. Because you know who’s NOT thinking of them? People who shop on Black Friday. 

Find more party planning inspirations for Celebration Of The Day

Inspiration to your inbox

Want to receive the latest Celebrations.com ideas?

Get our newsletter »
Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

Read More »
Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.