Portable North Pole

Christmas is such a magical time. You know it is upon you when the slightest mention of Father Christmas send the children in to hyper mode.

I think we all do it, but it is an amazing time of the year when you can use Santa as not only a treat but a threat for any naughty behaviour. (That sounds awful but how many of us are lost come January when you can’t use Santa as a behaviour bribe).

Over the last few years, since I discovered PNP (Portable North Pole) I have taken advantage of their make a video of Santa free download. Every year it has worked a treat, not only in completely captivating the kids but also in getting me in the Christmas Spirit.

So What is PNP? I hear you ask….

“Portable North Pole (PNP) is an online platform used by Santa and his elves to send personalized video messages and calls to the people you care about most anywhere around the world. In just a few simple steps, you can help Santa gather all the information he needs about your loved one and create a tailor-made video message or phone call that is positively magical. But that isn’t all Santa and his magical elves have in store! To create truly unforgettable memories, you can even download a HD version of your video to keep for years to come”

This year I have full access to the PNP.

I was blown away by the videos/calls that are available for you tailor to your own needs.

On entering the site you are offered the choice of Videos, Phone Calls and also stories that are read out to your children.

I opted to have a different video for each of my three making each one different in behaviour too. Just to try it out and see what happens if you are on the naughty list.

For Penny I did the Visit Elves House video. I was prompted in some very easy steps to add the details I would like to the video. This includes her age, a picture of Penny and one of our house, what she had been asked to do this year and also which list I felt she should be on. (As she had been particularly trying that day, I chose naughty list). The video lasts for just under six minutes and Penny was drawn in from the very start.

She wasn’t that overjoyed when Santa told her she needed to try harder to make the good list however and despite feeling really bad, I hoped that hearing she had been naughty from the man himself might do the trick.

By the end of the day she had been a little angel and it would seem a chat with the big man did the trick. So, I decided to give the phone call option a try.

This is simple, you have to enter your contact number a few simple details of the child and they get a very authentic sounding call in return.

Santa told her she was on the good list and to make sure she kept her behaviour good. (I would like to say it was still having an effect and if I threaten the phone call she soon snaps out of her little tempers).

Libby had The Big Book message. The details that you enter are fairly similar only in “The Big Book” you are asked to enter something that your child has asked for or is working towards with their behaviour. The video concentrates on the book hat Santa holds for each of us and like with the first on you can enter four names from your family that appear along side the child in questions name on the book shelf.

Libby was on the good list because of her recent achievements and she was overjoyed that Santa told her she was doing well and he would try his best to make sure her doll was under the tree on Christmas morning.

Regan had a video too for him I did the Secret Places Video. He was unphased by the whole thing but then I wouldn’t expect any the less from a grunting teenager.

PNP for me is now something that I love to see the kids watching in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On top of the Christmas Videos, Stories and Calls there is is also the opportunity to get Birthday greetings for your children and a special Christmas Eve video, there is also an Online Shop with official merchandise.

The phone calls can be tailored to the situation with call categories including, Congratulations, Behaviour to improve, Encouragement and Christmas Eve, there is something for us all to get excited over.

The kids are taken in by Santa, the Elves and the landscapes and settings they use for the videos. It is a truly magical thing to be able to do for the kids and seeing their faces is priceless.

Full Membership is reasonably priced and for what you get in return it is well worth the investment.

For more information or to visit PNP, you can find them Online, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Christmas Fireplace

Christmas is a magical time for children and this year I am determined to make it extra special.

For all I promised myself to be done with the shopping by December so I can concentrate on the build up, it looks unlikely to happen so I have reset the goal for the 15th of December. (Keeping everything crossed that I can stick to this deadline).

The build up has however started, we have written our Christmas lists and hoped with all our hearts that we would get the blessing of an “Elf/Fairy Door”. Last year and the year before we had an Elf visitor, Olaf and Olly the Elves were lovely additions to the family and the girls especially, were hoping that a door would appear the morning after they had left their letters.

Imagine our joy when we got up to find a door waiting for us on the fire place.


After visiting the Crafting Tea Rooms in September, my bestie and I decided that this year we would set about crafting with the kids for Christmas.

I absolutely love making and creating but simply do not get the time these days. However, making the time to sit down with the kids and make it rather than buying it, has been really fun. Something we will most certainly be doing more over the weeks to come.

What better way to start, than with an amazing array of goodies from Hobbycraft. This year they are running a campaign which has been entitled and tagged #MakeItDontBuyIt. They also have an amazing Christmas range.

img_0919 img_0915

The kids were so excited to see what was in he basket and pulled every item out in a matter of seconds and spent the weekend putting pressure on me to get the crafting in motion.

img_0856 img_0939

I had a shift swap on Sunday so it mean’t I had more time on my hands. So once I had caught up on the night shift sleep and got put straight we got a big sheet out to protect the floor.

In the basket was a Christmas Stocking and it took quite some debate as to who would get the Stocking. Would it be one of the kids? Me? The decision was made, on the basis that he doesn’t have one, that Louie the Dog would get it. Libby nominated me to draw a picture of a dog on the stocking and while Penny sprinkled glitter on to the glue dog, Libby would find his name in amongst the felt letters.

img_0951 img_0953

His ears were filled with Pom Poms and we put him to one side to dry. I have been nominated to sew on some bells to the stocking when it dries. The kids have also decided that they would like to add some sparkly Pom pom’s to the stocking to make it “more fancy”.

img_0958 img_0959 img_0961

Next we opened up the Advent Calendar boxes. What an amazing idea this is. I have looked at the ready made ones and thought about getting one in years gone buy but to be able to make our own means it is extra special….we decided that Libby would be in charge of the big box on top, Penny the upper set of small boxes, Libby and Penny on the next layer and the bottom layer is all mine…YEY!

Out came the paints and brushes.

Penny stole one of the greens and started to do hers green. With a little help we managed to cover the boxes but for complete coverage we would need at least another layer on when this one was dry.


Libby decided that she wanted to go white and then paint glitter snow flakes on it.


The girls both painted the middle layer red and I went for white on the bottom layer.

img_0980  img_0985

As everything was wet and needed another coat of paint we left them to dry over night…….

The following day the boxes needed another coat of paint so while I did that Penny set about picking what needed to go on the stocking and where. As you can see she added quite a bit and is very pleased with her little self at how it turned out. (Not sure Louie is impressed but I am sure a few treats in it from Santa Paws will change his mind).

img_1043 img_1044

The next few days…..

So we painted some more and the time came to decorate the boxes. The girls decided that we should alternate the doors and have bows on some and Santa sequins on the other so that is what we did. The glue gun came in very handy and I used all the glue sticks included so went and invested in some more.


Desperate to use the Pom Pom’s some more Penny set about sticking them in the gaps, so armed with the glue gun we stuck them in place. Libby decided that she would like some white pom poms to put on the top box so it looked like snowballs.

img_1228 img_1233 img_1231 img_1226

Then we have the finished product…..


What a creation, they love it and are very proud of what they have created. I love it and I am sure Santa will too, here’s hoping he fills it full of goodies for them.

The products we used to “MakeItNotBuyIt” are:

The Wooden Present Stack Advent Calendar

Green Felt Christmas Stocking

Christmas Sparkle Pom Pom Bumper Pack

Hot Melt Mini Glue Gun

Hobbycraft School PVA Glue 300ml

Silver Glitter Shaker 80 g

Ready Mix Paint Christmas 150ml 6 Pack

Deco Mache Decoupage Papers

Assorted Adhesive Felt Letters

Single Tartan Mini Bows 20 Pack

Gold Christmas Star Wooden Glitter Toppers 12 Pack

Multi-Coloured Jingle Bells 30 Pack

Red Santa Sequins

Kids Paint Brush Set 3 Pack

A massive thank you goes out to Hobbycraft for getting us involved in the #MakeItDontBuyIt campaign. We had lots of fun and have even been for a sneaky visit to the Team Valley store to purchase some more bits for us to have fun with.

Look forward to creating some more, to find out more about the Hobbycraft Christmas ranges please visit them here.