Holiday Shop Till You Drop at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls

Christmas came early this year for me at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The awesome off-price retailers hosted a fun and festive event at their headquarters in Framingham Massachusetts, for a group of jolly lifestyle editors and merry mommy bloggers, and I had the shopportunity to attend.

I arrived in Boston on Wednesday afternoon and was escorted to the fabulously over-the-top Fairmont Copley Plaza, where a friendly front-desk attendant handed me a goodie bag filled to the brim with seasonal sweets—like peppermint lollipops, chocolate-covered popcorn, and hot cocoa powder. (I later learned you can acquire all of these tempting treats in the gourmet section of your local T.J. Maxx or Marshalls.)

'Twas the Night Before the Event
After a quick walk along charming Newbury Street and a large gingerbread latte (to get me in the mood!), I met my new blogger friends outside the hotel, where we boarded the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls trolley for the first official holiday event of the season. Inside the retro shuttle was a Christmas-lover's dream. Pumping holiday music at Maxx volume, the bus was decked out to the Maxx (I'll stop soon) with red and green decorations and flashing Christmas lights. The back seat was even transformed into a cozy, faux fireplace complete with mantle and stockings.

We arrived at Beantown hot spot Post39, where we sipped peppermint martinis and nibbled on holiday finger foods. We mixed, mingled, and talked about the worst holiday gifts we've ever received. (For the record, mine was a set of super-sexy Santa pajamas …FROM MY MOM!) After far too many drinks and lots of laughs, we returned to the hotel, where I climbed into in my plush bed … I dreamed of sugarplums, fairies, and fabulous holiday fashion.

The Ultimate Maxx-mas
I woke up the next day like a little kid on Christmas morning excited about the events ahead. Our tinsel-covered trolley picked us up at 7:45 a.m. and we were off to TJX headquarters, where we received a warm welcome by an eager elf and a harmonizing crew of holiday carolers. I was handed an ornate gold stocking stuffed with a gorgeous cashmere scarf and soft leather gloves (guess where they were from?!). Hmmm, maybe a cold winter won't be so bad after all.

We spent the first half of the day donning our new accessories and learning about TJX and off-price retail. I discovered that both stores sell first-quality designer-brand merchandise at seriously lower prices. No, I mean seriously lower prices. They showed us real-deal comparisons, and it was astonishing how much money you can save on amazing finds for your closet, family, and home. This whole “saving” concept certainly will come in handy during the pricey December shopping season. (Oh, and a tip for gadget gift-givers: TJX's CEO revealed that the company just bought 2,300 iPads for its stores, which they will be selling beginning next week for a whole lot less—like they're literally not making a cent of profit.)

After a hearty holiday lunch, our money-minded group took a tour of the TJX buying offices for a sneak peek at the latest, greatest merchandise. I drooled walking into the extensive handbag closet, where hundreds of clutches, satchels, and hobos were napping on shelves. Surely, they wouldn't miss this one….

After a few glamorous giveaways (diamond earrings, anyone?), and a slice of pumpkin pie, we boarded the bus to shop at the flagship T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores. I was in bargain-hunting heaven. I felt a high running through the racks (incidentally, this is discouraged) and perusing the fully stocked aisles. While browsing, I spied fabulous Frye boots, a haute Halston dress, and designer jeans. I cooed over a large doggie bed that I've seen in other stores for double the price. My mental calculator was shocked and thrilled to add up all the unbelievable savings … I'll take this and that and and three of those! I'm thinking I might be able to afford being a bit more generous this Christmas … and I'll probably have a new dress for every festive affair.

After a long and satisfying day of retail therapy, I got on a plane bound for the Big Apple. First stop: the new Marshalls in Chelsea! I haven't gotten my fill just yet. At this rate, I'm going to Maxx out my credit card in no time. (Sorry, I had to get one more in.)

Happy holiday shopping! xo