Everyday Life, Two Legged Fun

Christmas Fun: Portable North Pole and Reindeer Cam

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Have you seen portablenorthpole.com yet?  I discovered it a few years ago and have made a video message for my little guy every year since.  The first year I did it he was so excited to see Santa that I think we must have watched it over 100 times.

The program allows you to fill out personal details and customize the video to the child or adult.  I get to input his age, photos, Christmas wishes, details on how we spent the last year and decide if he is on the naughty or nice list.  The final video incorporates those pictures and Santa even says his name to make it that much more authentic.  Camden started out somewhere between naughty/nice, but after a few quick changes this morning we re-watched and he was excited to see he has made it to Santa’s nice list!

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Next year I will make one for each of them, but this year Keira is just happy to watch Santa and the elves in her brother’s video.

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And if you are looking more Christmas fun, I highly recommend Santa’s Reindeer Cam!  We have downloaded the app to the ipad and it allows the kids to check in on Santa’s live reindeer.  There is also a feeding schedule so if you visit at the right times, you can see Santa feeding his reindeer throughout the day!

 

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Crafts, Everyday Life, Little Hands, Two Legged Fun

Letter to Santa – Free Printable

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It is December 1st and the countdown to Christmas has begun!  We put our first cottonball on Santa’s beard this morning, hung our first ornament on our new Advent tree from Grandma, and then I decided it would be a good day to write and mail our letter to Santa.

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To keep things simple, I used the same template I created last year for my playgroup kids to use to write their letter’s to Santa.  They are all preschool aged, so this was a quick and easy way to get the letter’s written and let the kids have a bit of fun coloring a picture for Santa.

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You can download pdf version of the Letter_to_Santa file here.  Enjoy!

Everyday Life, Two Legged Fun

Pictures with Santa 2013

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This week I took the kids to have our annual visit and photo’s with Santa.  Keira wasn’t in much of a smiling mood, but I did snap some good pictures nonetheless.  At least she wasn’t screaming her head off, right?

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I keep seeing Santa pictures popping up on my facebook feed with fake-bearded Santa’s and I must say that I love how authentic looking this Santa is!  He was also warm and friendly with the kids and patient while I snapped a hundred photos. This is our second year visiting this Mall Santa and I love that they allow you to take your own photos.  For Camden’s first Christmas, I paid $15 for a single printed photo and was severely disappointed with it.  They do ask for charitable donations to the Christmas Bureau, however, so I was happy to give my $20.

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In the car on the way to see Santa, I asked my 3 year old what he was going to tell Santa he wanted for Christmas.  His reply was “Maybe just everything”.  I guess that would about cover it!  Luckily he was a little less greedy when speaking to Santa and asked for “1 dino bot and a big Optimus Prime vehicle”.

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I guess this “Santa” needs to work on hunting down that Rescue Bots toy…

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Crafts, Little Hands

Kids Cottonball Christmas Countdown

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I am planning to do this craft with our playgroup at the beginning of December, but my 3 year old son saw me working on the digital file today and couldn’t wait to color his Santa.  He did such a good job coloring I decided we might as well finish off the project this afternoon and have it hung and ready to start adding the cotton balls December 1st.  I am sharing today so you can hopefully do the same with your kids.

I always had a chocolate advent calendar growing up, but have resisted the urge to buy the kids one this year. The chocolate is always pretty crappy in them and the last thing my kids really need is more treats. I loved the simplicity of this one when I found it on pinterest.  It is cheap, easy, and interactive for the little guys.  Plus, I am hoping it will help with counting as we work our way up to December 24th.

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Supplies

  • Printer
  • White Cardstock
  • Crayons
  • Scotch Tape or Stapler
  • 24 Cotton Balls (I used 12 and cut them in half)
  • Double sided tape or glue

1.  Open the CottonballChristmasCountdown_DolledUpDesign file and print both pages on white cardstock or heavy paper.  The original Santa image was found on kidsdomain.com.

2.  Have your child color the Santa image using crayons or felt markers.

3.  Fold the “Christmas Countdown” page along the fold line and staple or tape the sides shut to create a pocket.

4.  Staple or tape the pocket portion to the bottom of the Santa picture.

5.  Count out 24 cotton balls and put them in the pocket.

6.  Beginning December 1st, put one cotton ball each day on the circle’s on Santa’s beard using glue or double sided tape.

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Four Legged Fun, Gift Ideas

Friday Favorites: Santa is Coming to Edmonton Book

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It amazes me how quickly stores make the switch from Halloween into full  Christmas mode.  It is hard not to feel a slight bit of panic November 1st when the Christmas decorations fill the shelves, holiday music fills the air, and you realize Christmas is just around the corner.  I hate the crowds, but I love shopping this time of year and seeing all the Christmas themed clothing, toys, decorations, housewares and books.

This year I am hoping to start a new tradition with the kids.  One of the ideas I have seen floating around the internet is to wrap a stack of books for them to open in the night’s leading up to Christmas.  Books are already part of our bedtime routine so I thought this would be a great way to bring a bit more Christmas magic and excitement into our house.  I have seen it done as a 30 day advent calendar, but I think I will shorten it and have enough books wrapped  to read for the 12 days before Christmas.

We already have a few Christmas books that I will wrap, but I stopped at Cole’s bookstore yesterday to quickly browse and see if there was anything new that caught my eye.  I was immediately drawn to a stack of books titled Santa is Coming to Ottawa by Steve Smallman.  I picked it up, disappointed it wasn’t Santa is Coming to Edmonton and then was delighted to discover that exact title hidden beneath the Ottawa edition.  As I flipped through the pages and saw the references to neighbourhoods and landmarks in our city, I knew it was a perfect Christmas book to add to our growing collection.

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The illustrations in this book are beautiful and I love that they show the familiar landmarks like the High Level Bridge, Art Gallery, Muttart Conservatory and Rexall Place.  I am not sure my kids will be quite old enough to recognize and pick them out this year, but I see them getting excited over it in the upcoming years.  My three year old has just started asking about where we live and trying to figure the world around us, so I really love the relevancy of this book.

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This book is just one of many in the series.  Other major Canadian cities that Santa is Coming to include Calgary, Vancouver, Hull, Ottawa, Toronto or just Canada.  For my American friends, there is a wide variety of titles that cover states and major cities from across the country.  And, because he is a British author, there is a vast range of English and European titles such as London, Belfast, and Scotland.

And  if these still don’t work for you?  There is simply Santa is Coming to My House.

Visit the Chapters/Indigo/Coles website to find all the Santa is Coming to titles.