Giving Thanks, HCG-Style


Screw the turkey - LET'S SPEND SOME MONEY!

Tomorrow evening Here Comes Gina will make our annual pilgrimage to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets for the Black Friday shopping insanity that is Midnight Madness. In anticipation of HCG's favorite day of the year, we've spent the last few weeks daydreaming about the crowds, the deals and the clothes, and we are absolutely giddy now that the day is so close. Unlike Joe some people who choose to go out and get drunk on Thanksgiving Eve, we prefer to stay in, bake pies, catch up on our DVR and backlog of magazines and rest up for our Thanksgiving morning double pilates session and nighttime shopping spree. We smiled just writing that.

This year marks our fourth annual Midnight Madness shopping extravaganza, and we've learned a lot from prior trips. If you're going to the outlets, our best piece of advice is ARRIVE EARLY. Each year parking becomes more and more difficult, and we're leaving home earlier than ever -  9:00 p.m. - to spare Joe the pain of driving around for two hours in search of a legal spot. Plus, as much as we love shopping in the middle of the night, we've found we don't always make the best shopping decisions the more tired we become. For the second consecutive year, Team HCG is proud CDW will accompany us on this trip. CDW is a shopper extraordinaire, and she manages to remain reasonable even at the wee hours of the morning. As always, CF rounds out our dream team, and we hope she won't fake sick again and spend all of Thanksgiving watching Uncle Buck.

We've learned that certain stores are dependable for great deals, and we're focusing on those instead of wandering around aimlessly hoping to find something awesome. Here's a  short rundown of our 2010 plan of attack.

The 2010 HCG Midnight Madness Shopping Strategy

  1. Restoration Hardware. HCG recently purchased our first home, and we're very much on a interior home goods kick. The Restoration Hardware outlet is one of the first stores to open tomorrow night - at 10 p.m.!  - and we figured we'll get it out of the way first so we can focus on apparel and shoes for the remainder of the evening. If we see our favorite blanket for less than $30, we're sure we'll buy a few more of it. If you are a friend or family member of HCG, chances are you will receive this RH blanket from us for Christmas 2010 (if you're Joe's mom, you just received it for your birthday).
  2. J. Crew. This outlet is beloved by both husband and wife and loves to see HCG coming, as we rarely escape it without dropping a nice chunk of change.  J. Crew opens at 11 p.m., and we intend to be waiting outside when the doors are unlocked. As always, I have high hopes for accessories here and my man will surely find some new favorites.
  3. Neiman Marcus Last Call. NMLC was initially our reason for attending Midnight Madness in 2007. I've gone home with two heavily discounted Marc Jacobs bags on Black Fridays past, and I most recently found a great pair of of Prada wedges there this summer. The entire store is 40% off, and we're heading straight for shoes with a quick run through women's apparel. NMLC can be a buttshow, so we won't invest too much time if nothing catches our eye.
  4. Banana Republic. It wouldn't be an HCG trip to the outlets without a visit to our old standby Banana Republic. I'm in desperate need of some new work basics (bo-ring) and usually find decent pieces here (including my sheer blouse). The entire store is 40% off and that discount makes buying work clothes considerably easier.

We're sure we'll hit up more than just the stores listed above, but this is our tiny attempt at moderation. If you're heading to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets tomorrow night, click here to check out a full list of deals. If you can't make it to the stores but are looking for something to do in the middle of the night, check out HCG on Twitter. We'll be tweeting from the outlets all night long!