Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Shopping Spree

Recently, I received an invitation from Blogher to do a little holiday shopping at J.C. Penney with a $300.00 gift certificate and, in return, I was asked to write a review post about my shopping experience.

Given our nation's current economic woes, I couldn't help feeling extremely grateful for the offer and I humbly accepted.

Like most people, I have many holiday gifts to buy.

Because I am freakishly organized, the first thing I did was visit J.C. Penney's website in order to scope out a list of potential gifts so that I would be an efficient holiday shopper when I visited the store.

I made a list of things that looked interesting and then, last Sunday, when J.C. Penney issued a coupon for an additional 30-70% off, I headed out into the shopping fray.

I started out looking for toys and clothes for The Mayor and The Rooster.

The first thing I found was the Talking Robot Companion.

[Yes, but can he play cards?]

Pretty cool... though I worried that MY children would run down the batteries in 4.3 seconds.

I was totally drawn in by the marshmallow blasters, but realized I'd have to buy four of them - one for every member of our household.

I envisioned a massive marshmallow attack scenario in The House of Joy... 

...but then my practical side fast-forwarded to the part where I would ultimately have to clean up small, round, dots of confectioners sugar from various household surfaces.

[Maybe I could stash four of them away for our next camping trip!]

I decided to look for something enriching... something that might teach science... and found myself considering what it might mean to purposefully breed a colony of ants in my home. 

In the end, I decided against it. As I SERIOUSLY do not like bugs.

When I discovered the Hulk Smash Hands I considered purchasing a set for each of my kids, roping off the living room and letting them settle their disputes the Mohamed Ali way.

[A mom can dream!]

The Mayor asked for a Hot Wheels Track for Christmas but unfortunately I couldn't find this track in my local store.

I did find a number of things that were interesting gift options for my kids, like...


The Remarkable Art Mat
Remote Controlled Dinosaur (RAWR!)
ATM Savings Bank (Oh, the Responsible!)
Strawberry Shortcake Laptop (Who IS Strawberry Shortcake?)
Princess and Fairy Dress Up Clothes
Superhero Clothes (The Mayor is obsessed with Spiderman.)
Remote Controlled Robot Car
Struxx Robotix (these look cool, but may be a little advanced for The Mayor.)
Einstein Telescope (Also for much older kids, but oh, to look at the moon...)
V.Smile Cyber Pocket Learning System


After shopping for the kids, I decided to switch gears and look at possible gifts for my husband.

The dreaded Gifts For Men category!

[Roll Friday the 13th music.]

Why are men so hard to shop for?!

Clearly I need some help in this category because I ended up wallowing in the sweater section.

[He ASKED for sweaters this year but... Zzzzzzzzzzzz.]

With loaded down arms, I finally headed to the cash register only to discover that my two ENORMOUS bags of loot only added up to $230.

Hallelujah! I had to keep shopping!

Of course I can't tell you exactly what I chose or The Family Joy wouldn't be surprised on Christmas morning, but I will say that I was impressed with the low prices and I was able to find things that my children will really love.

I'd like to thank Blogher and J.C. Penney for the opportunity - particularly this year - in this economic climate.

Additionally, I'd especially like to thank J.C. Penney for investing in the experience and story telling of regular moms.

Give J.C. Penney a try and enjoy your holiday shopping!


By the way, BlogHer and JCPenney are giving away a $300 gift card each week for the next five weeks. You can register to win here.