A Blogger Secret Santa Exchange With JCPenney

What’s Christmas without at least one Secret Santa exchange? The mystery, the excitement, the anticipation. It’s just so much fun! Since I don’t work in a traditional office any more to do a work exchange, I was THRILLED to team up with JCPenney for a blogger Secret Santa. Yeay, a real exchange within my virtual office. The big reveal for Secret Santa is next week (my gift should arrive Monday!), but in the mean time I wanted to show you this cool thing JCPenney has come up with for gift giving. It is like the Secret Santa’s secret weapon 🙂

First a little background:

Do you know what a QR code is? A QR code is basically a modern bar code. You’ve probably seen QR codes on lots of things, you just didn’t know what it was. The cool thing about QR codes is that they can be “read” by smart phones (with tons of different apps). Since just about everyone has (or knows someone who has) a smart phone these days, QR codes can be used to pass special messages or promotions onto customers. It’s like a hidden clue with a secret decoder.

Ok enough tech, back to JCPenney’s Santa Tag.

JCPenney has given the QR code a Christmas spin by creating QR gift tags. The gift giver can record a special holiday message for the recipient  then when the gift is given the recipient can reveal the message using a QR reader. How cool is that? Want to see the tag in action? Check out this video about how the process works.

After choosing the perfect (I hope) gift for the recipient of my Secret Santa gift, I received a Santa Tag. I was a little afraid that somehow I would mess it up, after all I usually leave anything technical to my hubby. But it was SO easy! I already had a QR reader on my phone, so I just scanned the code. Scanning the code took me to a special website that asked for my phone number, less than two minutes later my phone rang with instructions to record my message. I recorded a holiday greeting and poof I was done. All that was left was to stick the code on the wrapped gift like a normal gift tag.

Of course, I wanted to test to make sure I did it right, so I scanned the code again and was easily able to download and listen to my recorded message. How’s that for high-tech gift giving. (In case you, or your recipient, don’t have a smart phone readily available. Don’t worry, you can still play. You will just have to call an 800 number and enter the number associated with the Santa tag.)

Santa Tags are available at all JCPenney locations at JCP services (where you would find gift boxes). And anyone who purchases a gift from JCPenney after 11/15/11 is eligible to receive a Santa Tag for free (just show your receipt). Learn more about Santa Tags. Since it is a free service for JCP customers, there’s no reason not to snag one of these cool QR codes and totally impress your friends and family this year.

Next week I will share with you more about what I sent my Secret Santa recipient and what I got. Oh goodie! The anticipation is killing me, I swear I am like a big kid!

Disclosure – I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney and received a JCPenney Secret Santa gift and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

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