Maybe it’s just us, but it seems like the first few months of the year just flew by, and May is suddenly here! We hope you all are enjoying the spring season with its blooming flowers, verdant foliage, and wildlife scurrying about. To make your May a little brighter, a little warmer, and little bit magical, here’s an enchanting digital wallpaper for your desktop, laptop, or tablet.
It’s April, and spring is in full swing. If you have a green thumb, you’ve probably already decided what plants you’re going to grow this year. Raymond the reindeer thought he’d try his hand hoof at gardening, and with some help, he got this little garden started!
In many places across the globe, spring is just around the corner. Soon flowers will begin blooming and plants will sprout new foliage. We thought we’d help you spring into the new month (and new season ahead!) with a wallpaper featuring Raymond the reindeer in a lush garden he visited during one of his trips south. So whether you’re seeing signs of spring or are still waiting for the snow to melt, you can download this wallpaper and enjoy the sunny scene all month long.
As we enter this new month, we can’t help thinking about the lovey-dovey holiday many of you celebrate on February 14th. That’s right, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day! We elves get tickled pink at the sight of all the heart decorations on display all over the world—and at the North Pole. Raymond the reindeer is feeling especially affectionate this year and wanted to shower you all with love. So, consider this wallpaper a token of his affection that you can enjoy all month long!
As we’re sure you can understand, all of us elves were rather pooped after the holiday season. Now that we’ve had some rest and relaxation, we thought we’d share a 2016 calendar with you! In this wallpaper, Raymond the reindeer is accompanied by one of his little penguin pals who is visiting from the South Pole. We can’t handle the cuteness overload!
We hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! All of us up here at the North Pole had a lovely Christmas indeed.
Yesterday in her blog post, Mary talked a lot about gratitude, so we wanted to take a moment to say thanks to our corporate sponsors who have helped tremendously with the cost of developing and maintaining northpole.com. So, thank you very much to our Diamond Deck-the-Halls Sponsor, RTI, Inc., and our Platinum Poinsettia Sponsor, SimTrain! [Interested in sponsoring Northpole.com? Click here for more information.]
Also, thanks go out to YOU for spending part of your Christmas with us! We appreciate every single one of our visitors, and we are so happy that you came to visit Santa’s Secret Village. We do hope that you’ll spend part of next Christmas with us as well!
As 2015 draws to a close, there are now 366 days until Christmas. [Don't forget that next year is a leap year!] We won’t be posting on the Elf Blog quite as often over the next several months, but come check back every now and then because we will be posting a few surprises between now and next holiday season
So, what is your favourite Christmas memory from this year? Did you spend time with loved ones, volunteer, or try out a new holiday recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks again for spending part of your Christmas with us here at northpole.com, and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2016!
If you’ve been reading the Elf Blog these past four years, you may have gathered that I LOVE basset hounds, so it should come as no surprise that I’m head over heels for this basset hound table top art! In fact, I adore these pieces so much that I decided that I just had to feature both Winston [who looks a lot like my parents' basset, Norman!] is rather festive with his Santa hat and candy cane, and Vixen is such a cutie with her reindeer antlers and harness. The artist behind Artful Hounds has done a fantastic job in capturing the chunky paws, droopy faces, and floppy ears of basset hounds. Dare I say, I’m smitten!
It’s Christmas Eve, and we couldn’t be more excited! The day we’ve been anticipating all year is almost here! I’m sure tomorrow morning you all will be thrilled to see what prezzies Santa brought for you and your family. After the wrapping paper settles and your gifts are stacked in glorious piles, consider taking a moment to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward
And I don’t mean the presents that you’ve unwrapped (although, certainly be grateful for those, too!), but rather the intangible things and the “small” things that we can often take for granted. This includes things such as expressing love and appreciation to your family or acknowledging the support of a special friend.
“Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” –Tom Hopkins
I have heard of gratitude being compared to a muscle. When not used often, it’s weak, and it might feel a bit awkward when you try to use it. But when exercised, it grows, and over time it becomes easier to flex that gratitude bicep. Plus, when we become more grateful for what we already have (or for people as they already are), we also become happier and have more joy!
“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
All this talk about gratitude makes me want to start a gratitude journal—or better yet, I’m thinking I might write Christmas or New Year’s gratitude notes. Are you feeling inspired, too? I hope so, but if you still need a little nudge, here are a few prompts to get your gratitude juices flowing:
Reflect on the past year’s events. Does anyone come to mind? Is there a friend or mentor who has been there for you during a tough time?
Think back over this past month. Has a friend or neighbor extended a helping hand this holiday season?
Consider this past week. Has your significant other or a coworker been especially supportive as the holiday week mounts?
Write a thank you card, leave a note on a chalkboard, or send a text message and let someone know how much they mean to you.
Do you have any other suggestions for spreading gratitude? Let us know in the comments below!
Isn’t this hat divine? It’s made with a bulky, wool-blend yarn, which makes it look so soft and plush that I just want to put it on my head! The elongated side tassels are super fun—I’m imagining swinging them around my neck or batting a friend with the pompoms This chunky knit hat would be perfect for someone who loves fun winter caps or somebody who can’t get enough of woolly accessories.
The holiday season is always so fun, but it can also be stressful, especially if you are travelling. Well, I have some good news… If you live in the USA and are flying today, you may come across some furry friends at the airport! United Paws—a program from United Airlines designed to delight customers—will once again be bringing professionally trained comfort dogs to airports. United added more airports to the list this year, and doggies will be at Chicago-O’Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington-Dulles. Puppies at the airport!? That would certainly delight this airline customer!
This video is from earlier in the week, hence why it says “tomorrow.”
Not only are dogs adorable, but science shows that petting a dog is actually good for you. Veterinary Consultant Dr. Walter Woolf said, “United Paws is a wonderful program that comes at just the right time for some holiday travelers who may be experiencing a bit of anxiety or stress… Research shows that just petting a dog releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection, and also decreases levels of stress, helps us breathe easier, and lowers our blood pressure.” I have a basset hound myself, and I can personally attest to the fact that being around a dog definitely makes you feel better This news clip shows that other travellers agree:
So if you are flying out of or have a layover in ORD, CLE, DEN, IAH, LAX, EWR, or IAD today, de-stress before take-off by petting a four-legged pal. Maybe you’ll even get a smooch from a sweet pup!
And if this act of holiday kindness wasn’t enough, United Airlines is also holding a contest where the winner will receive two round trip tickets. To enter, share a photo on Instagram or Twitter of your dog with a United Airlines logo or in a travel setting, tag @United, and include the hashtags #UnitedPaws and #UnitedContest. For every picture that is shared, United will donate $1 to support therapy dog organizations. [See official rules here.]