I am sure most of you have your own stories about shopping – good and bad. This is one shopping experience I was fortunate to participate in one year ago today and it was a good one (Understatement #1).
Shopping can be fun!
It started on November 23, 2012 when I entered a contest on the Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards web site. The contest said,
You could win a trip to LA and a shopping spree with Jaclyn Smith!
I enter contests regularly and often. I figure someone has to win these things and it might as well be me. Of course that doesn’t always happen but I have learned that I don’t win every contest I don’t enter.
Of course I had been a fan of Jaclyn Smith for many years. I think I was in junior high school when Charlie’s Angels was one of the most popular shows on TV and I suspect most boys my age were fans. She is one of the most beautiful women in the world. It would be before Christmas and we did need to do some Christmas shopping, so why not fly to Los Angeles and go shopping with Jaclyn Smith? It seemed like a no-brainer to me.
To say I was surprised when I received a phone call on November 27th telling me I had won would not be accurate. I was shocked! (Understatement #2) After talking with Sharin for about 2 minutes we decided we would go after we confirmed the details and this was really real. It was one of those moments when you think, “Is this really happening?” or “This is too good to be true. It can’t be happening to me.”
Alabama to LAX
Well, it was really real and on Monday, December 10th we flew from Alabama to LAX, drove to the Hilton Los Angeles Universal City, which is located at the entrance to Universal Studios. After checking in and getting settled we walked around Universal City Walk and had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
You might be thinking, “You were at Universal Studios. Why didn’t you go to the park?” Well, we had already planned to drive to Disneyland while we were there so we were saving our energy and our money. Our original thought was we would go on Monday after we arrived but we decided to wait until Tuesday, after our shopping spree, since we expected that would not last much longer than the allotted hour. That expectation proved to be false in the best sort of way.
Well, Tuesday arrived and we arrived at the Kmart a little before 10:00 as planned. Everything that happened after that was both surreal and real at the same time. Never having spent much time with a celebrity, (Understatement #3), we were not sure what to expect. We expected it would be an enjoyable once-in-a-lifetime experience, of course, but the time would be limited according to the itinerary. We were wrong. It was an amazing day, far beyond anything we could have expected. Here is a link to a short video Kmart created. We did get the Christmas tree mentioned in the video.
I know this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Jaclyn. I mean really, how often does she get to meet a couple from the other LA (Lower Alabama) and go Christmas shopping at the Burbank Kmart with them? I expect this was the first and last time, thus, the once-in-a-lifetime description fits. I am sure she would agree. She did say “it was a highlight of the season meeting the two of you.”
In case you were wondering, it was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.
What Did I Learn?
I knew that Jaclyn Smith was a beautiful woman. I learned that Jaclyn Smith is a beautiful person.
I was reminded it takes a lot of people working behind the scenes to make an event like this work and look effortless for those participating. There are many that deserve thanks for this. Kim, Leah, Shana, Amanda, Rena, and Clarine – you all made us feel special and made our day special. Thank you all again. To the local Kmart folks – Mark and Victor – thank you again for your Southern (California) hospitality.
While watching Brooke shop for the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital I learned Kmart is their number one retail supporter. That was fun to watch too.
I learned that shopping can be fun, especially when you are pushing the buggy (shopping cart for anyone confused) for two of the most beautiful women in the world and they are doing what women do while shopping – talking, laughing and having fun. It was definitely a win-win for me.
I learned that Jaclyn Smith is a prophet. On the autographed photo she signed before we went shopping and shown above she said, “I know we will have fun today.” She was right!
After the shopping was done
Probably the coolest part was after the shopping was done – her commitment was complete – she invited us back to have lunch with her, Rena, and Clarine, her team. She did not have to do that. She could have just used the down time to relax but she chose to spend it with us. That was special and will not be forgotten.
We ate lunch and just talked for probably an hour or more about kids, pets, new cars, etc. – just life like most people talk about. She was concerned about her new car that her husband was driving that day. She is a breast cancer survivor so she talked about that and the importance of the annual exams. We talked about Sharin’s upcoming Disney Half-Marathon in January as well as the Ability First Stroll and Roll event she was planning to participate in to support children and adults with special needs.
I learned Jaclyn Smith is a very nice down to earth person, mother, wife and humanitarian in addition to being one of the most beautiful and gifted models and actresses in the world.
You don’t have to fly to Los Angeles and go shopping with Jaclyn Smith to have fun shopping. Although, if you do ever get this opportunity I highly recommend it (Understatement #4).
It is the Giving Season
When you are shopping and looking for that perfect gift enjoy the time with the person you are shopping with and imagine the joy you will receive when you see the recipient open that gift. When you receive a gift remember that joy you received and accept any gift you receive with gratitude and allow the gift giver to experience that joy as well.
I just saw a quote from Andy Andrews about giving that fits well here I believe, “Giving is an unbelievable action that continues to produce returns that are unexpected in nature.”
Just a note
If you look at my profile picture and the smile on my face you now know why I was smiling so much. I was having a good time shopping!
And, just in case you were wondering, we did make it to Disneyland too.
Until next time…Happy Shopping!