Since we elves enjoy making things at work and in our spare time, we love creative projects from other folks as well—be it new products, joyful music, or delicious food. So, it’s time once again this year to highlight some fabulous festive projects that are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, a website whose mission is “to help bring creative projects to life.”
If you have an artificial Christmas tree, but can’t stand the green pole at the base, then the Christmas Tree Hugger is for you! The flexible hugger wraps around the pole and features a classic brown bark, white birch bark, or candy cane design.
Permanent and weather-resistant, you can easily install EverLights once and then enjoy them for years to come. Plus, you can customize the colours and sequence of the lights using the included smartphone app. After the Christmas season, you can change the lights’ colours to celebrate other holidays or even to match the colours of your favourite sports team!
Learn more about the EverLights Kickstarter campaign here.
These hand-printed tree posters are perfect if you live in a small space and don’t have room for a Christmas tree. Simply hang the poster on the wall and decorate with stickers, markers, or paper ornaments!
This delightful reindeer finger puppet is sporting a festive red hoodie complete with white pompoms. The reindeer’s face and antlers were needled felted with pure wool, and his hoodie was hand-knitted. A wonderful gift for a child who loves Christmas, this finger puppet could also be used as a cheery pen or pencil topper for children and adults alike. Also available as an ornament.
In 2007 Gretchen and Larry Witt’s 2-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with cancer, and they were rather surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of money spent on cancer research goes towards researching better treatments for pediatric cancer. The Witts decided they needed to do something about this, so Gretchen—along with 250 volunteers—baked and sold 96,000 cookies. This massive bake sale raised more than $400,000 for childhood cancer research! With the success of their first bake sale, the Witts decided to establish Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization that raises funds for research for developing improved treatments for pediatric cancer.
Since its inception, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has funded dozens of pediatric cancer research grants, which have lead to a number of promising new treatments and clinical trials. The decision on where the funds go is overseen by a Medical Advisory Board, which is made up of leading pediatric oncologists from top hospitals, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
If you would like to get involved with this admirable organization, there are several way to do so.
Host a Bake Sale or Cookie Swap
In the spirit of how this charity was started, you could host a bake sale or cookie swap to raise money. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer wants to make it easy for you to host your event, so if you register your bake sale with them, they will provide support and tips to make the entire process simple.
Send Cookies to a Loved One
The cookies offered by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer contain all-natural ingredients and are shipped on the same day that they are baked. On top of that, 100% of the profits from the cookies go directly to pediatric cancer reseach, and each box includes a note explaining the significance of your gift. With a variety of flavours, such as Liam’s Lemon Sugar, Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch, and Ginger Spice, these cookies will fill the tummies and the hearts of the recipients. Order a box for someone on your gift list or for your own family to enjoy this holiday season.
Attend Family Fun Day in NYC
If you live in the NYC area, you could attend Family Fun Day on Saturday, 5 December. Hosted by Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, this event includes a meet, greet, and eat where you will get to sample and receive cookies from some of the USA’s top pastry chefs and award-winning bakers. Family Fun Day also features cupcake & cookie decorating, a photo booth, live music & a DJ, face painters, kid [and adult!] beverages, gift bags, and much more. Buy tickets for the event here.
Family Fun Day
123 West 18th Street, 2nd Floor (Between 6th & 7th Avenues)
New York City, NY
Saturday, 5 December
Y’all, look at these! Besides the ornaments we have in the Craft Cottage, these are some of the most adorable felt ornaments I have ever laid my eyes on. Amazingly kawaii, each one looks like a darling gingerbread cookie. I can’t decide which one is my favourite, but I’m partial to the snowman, mug of cocoa, and gingerbread man. If you fancy these, check out My Magic Felt’s other Christmas ornaments—they’re equally precious!
This Friday REI, the outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailer, is doing something rather extraordinary. Instead of participating in Black Friday, they are closing all of their stores and paying their 12,000+ employees to spend time outside, and they are inviting everyone else to join them. While some folks probably can’t imagine a store not being open on the biggest shopping day of the year, this campaign [appropriately called #OptOutside] fits quite well with REI’s belief that “a life outside is a life well-lived,” and I can definitely appreciate them practicing what they preach!
In the midst of holiday busyness, taking some time to go explore the great outdoors sounds like a fantastic idea. All of us could benefit from pausing and enjoying the beauty of nature—whether it’s a snowy mountain, scenic state park, metropolitan botanical garden, or your favourite campground.
Some parks in the USA are even offering special discounts and events to help encourage people to #OptOutside this Friday. Here are just a few of the participating park systems:
For a list of additional park systems, organizations, and companies that have partnered with REI on this campaign, please visit REI’s website. Or, go here to find places to have fun skiing, hiking, cycling, or paddling. You can also check out the hashtag #OptOutside on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to see how others are spending their Friday out in the fresh air!
Personally, I plan to #OptOutside on Black Friday by exploring a marsh and a beach with my fiancé and my dog. How will you be spending the day? Will you be fighting the crowds at the mall? Hiking with your children at a state park? Sleeping in late and then putting up your Christmas tree? Going for a run around a lake? Let us know in the comments!
This sweet wood ornament would make a lovely addition to any newlyweds’ Christmas tree. The 3.5" ornament can be customized with the couple’s names and wedding year, both of which will be laser engraved. The wee arrows and heart add a touch of romance.
A little over a month. Less than 5 weeks. 32 days. However you want to phrase it, the fact remains that it will be Christmas before we know it!
This is an especially busy time here at northpole.com, just as I’m sure it’s a busy time for you. I do hope that you and your family will come visit us here regularly during the holiday season. Besides all of the great stuff elsewhere on the site [such as the fabulous crafts, yummy recipes, and letters to Santa], we will be bringing you fun, festive content here on the Elf Blog every single day between now and Christmas.
If you love holiday events, are wondering where Raymond the reindeer travelled to this year, or simply need a daily dose of Christmas joy, the Elf Blog has you covered. We look forward to spending the holiday season with you and yours!
We hope that each and every one of you had a fabulous Christmas. All of us up here at the North Pole had a wonderful Christmas indeed.
We wanted to take this 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!
So, what was your favourite Christmas memory this year? Did you receive a cherished gift, try a new delicious recipe, or go ice skating with a special someone? Let us know in the comments!
Enjoy the rest of Christmas Day, and from all of us at northpole.com, we wish you a very happy and healthy 2015!
Oh my, I practically melted when I saw this adorable print! Featuring a basset hound who is the rather reluctant reindeer for a little girl’s sleigh ride venture, this is one of my favourite prints that I’ve ever seen on Etsy. Not only does the artist have a great style, but she captured the basset hound perfectly. I mean, look at those droopy ears and chunky feet! This cuteness is also available as a card.
Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Tonight Santa will make his big trip around the world, and I’m sure many of you are spending today wrapping your last few gifts, cooking a delicious meal, or perhaps spending some time with loved ones. Whatever you’re busy with today, if you need a short, festive break, check out the videos below of Christmas lights synchronized with songs—some with Christmas carols and some with songs a little less traditional, but fun nonetheless These awesome videos will have you tapping your toes and wondering exactly how many lights these folks have on their houses!
I think the Star Wars house is my favourite with the “Carol of the Bells” house a close second. Let me know which video you liked best in the comments!