I love this time of year. Even though I grew up without a lot of family nearby (it was just the four of us) I've always loved the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Once my sister and I had kids, our family gatherings got exponentially crazier, and I love them that much more… we have lots of family traditions, bu we're always looking for new ways to make memories together as a family. The new Northpole by Hallmark line gave me just the excuse to have a little holiday kick-off fun with Max and my nieces, to get us all into the holiday state of mind.
I'd been hearing about the Hallmark movie and product line for a while, but hadn't seen it in person until I went to Walmart recently; the entire range is completely adorable. I picked up a copy of the “Once Upon a Northpole Christmas” book, two “Find Me Santa snowflakes” (one for us, one for the girls) and a fun little beanbag toss game where you're throwing gifts into a chimney.
I was overwhelmed by the cuteness of it all, and will be back when I'm in gift wrapping mode; their papers are fantastic and just my style. They even have greeting cards and home decor, all tied into the Northpole theme.
While Max and Faith read out loud to the little ones, I assembled the Rooftop Drop game so we could play it together. It's cute, and even Lydia managed to score a couple of points! For little ones, I love that they still get “points” for landing on the roof, not just in the chimney itself. I feel like it's a little less frustrating that way!
Everyone took at turn at the game, and I'm sure it'll end up being played at all of our holiday gatherings this year. The Northpole line a has several games like this to choose from; it could be fun to do a whole game night with all holiday-themed games!
The last thing we did was give the kids their “Find Me Santa snowflake” ornaments. I *love* Christmas ornaments, and we end up buying a couple for Max every year. This one is cool! On Christmas Eve, at bedtime, have your child press the button to light it up. It will remain lit for four hours, giving Santa lots of time to find them while they snooze. It's a substantial size, and feels really well made, so I look forward to it being on our tree for a long time to come.
The snowflake includes a sticker to write the child's name on and put it on the snowflake, so that Santa is sure to know where he is. (Side note: I'm actually going to have Max write his own name on his, because I am constantly trying to get him to write on things I can keep, his handwriting changes so quickly these days, as he gets better and better at it!)
And of course, we immediately ran into the closet so we could test out the glowing-ness of the glow!
Hallmark has done a great job with putting the Northpole line together; this video gives you a little tour of the town:
Our little Saturday afternoon Northpole playdate was a great way for us to get into the holiday spirit; I was even motivated to go home and do a little Christmas shopping that afternoon! And I already know I'm going back to Walmart to pick up some of the Northpole wrapping supplies.
What is your family's favorite part of the holiday season kicking off?