Monday, December 19, 2016

#PowerImagination This Holiday Season with Duracell

Other than the cold and snow we get in our neck of the woods, I believe Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time for big family gatherings, love, joy, lights, and giving. I'd include Chanukah and Kwanzaa there as well. This is also a time for reflection on the year past and for giving back to our communities. I think there's something about our celebrations that remind many of us how blessed we are and how others may not be experiencing the same joy and plenty that we are. This provides a real focal point for the giving of our time and resources to help others in need to have a joyous holiday.

There are many ways to help. You can donate to your local food bank or toy drive, or spend some time volunteering for a cause close to your heart. Or you can choose gifts that contain an element of giving back, whether locally or internationally, like the Hospital for Sick Children's Get Better Gifts program. These types of programs, where you can easily make a difference in someone's life just by making a purchase you have to make anyway are such a convenient way to give.

Many companies also make an extra effort to give back at this time of year as well. Duracell has a long history of involvement with the Children's Miracle Network, and in 2016, for the 10th year in a row, they are donating a year's supply of batteries to hospital playrooms across the country. They have in fact donated 1 million batteries to 146 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide, just in time for the holidays. These batteries will help power the imagination of children during their hospital stays all year long, and will bring special joy at this time of year as they play with new battery-operated toys. Being in hospital is difficult for anyone, but for a child it can be extra tough. The power of imaginative play helps to provide a sense of normalcy, and allows a child to be just a child, not a patient, for however long that break lasts. And with so many children's toys going high tech these days, batteries are crucial to keep the play going.

And did you know? You can join Duracell in their support of the Children's Miracle Network hospitals while doing your holiday shopping. For every pack of Duracell batteries purchased at Walmart during December, Duracell will make a donation to CMN. They have set a goal of $150,000 for 2016. And you know you need batteries! With a season of new toys and battery-operated decorations, you can never have too many batteries on hand. And this is actually a good reminder - check the packaging of any toys or electronics you've purchased for gifting this year, before you wrap! Are batteries required? Included? Be like the Boy Scouts, and Be Prepared! I honestly like to have a stash of AA, AAA, and C batteries around at all times, just in case. Can you imagine the disappointment on Christmas morning if your child can't play with their new toy? Sadness.

We received an early Christmas gift from Duracell, as they sent us a Furby Connect to test out, with Duracell batteries of course. Technically, I have claimed this as my Furby, since Boo already has Furby Boom, but I haven't been able to get near him. Boo spent hours this weekend playing with Ah-Bay and the Furby Connect app. I think that's probably the best endorsement the toy can get. And the batteries too. They are definitely standing up to extended play.

Furby Connect is a great toy on its own, because it is so interactive. He responds to your voice and to various touches and tickles. You can even play with his antenna like a joystick to see how he reacts. Boo had fun sharing some of his music with our Ah-Bay, who danced along as his eyes displayed musical notes. This Furby's eyes actually display over 150 animations, which help you to understand his mood or what he wants. Have a friend with a Furby Connect? Get them together and they will chat to each other. Very cool stuff.

Of course, Furby Connect also interacts with the Furby Connect World app. Within the app there are more ways to interact with your Furby friend, including feeding different foods, hatching Furbling eggs, watching videos, and more. Furby Connect can even learn songs from the videos. When new content is added to the app, Furby Connect's antenna will glow to let you know.

And, from the parental standpoint, a big bonus to Furby Connect is the sleep mask. This hard plastic mask clicks on over Furby's eyes and sends him right to dreamland. And he won't wake up as long as its on. This is a great feature, as it eliminates the old problem of Furby randomly waking and scaring the heck out of whoever's nearby.

So, Furby Connect seems like a lot of fun, and Boo supports that. Maybe some day I'll be allowed a turn?

To find out more on how you too can support Children's Miracle Network hospitals to power the imagination of kids throughout the holidays, please visit

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Duracell. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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