All of us elves up here at the North Pole really enjoy making things both at work and in our spare time. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we really love learning about creative projects from folks all around the world—whether it’s yummy food, novel products, or unique holiday cards. 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 and your family cut your own Christmas tree each year, the Christmas TreeTransporter will help you easily and securely haul the tree on top of your car. This reusable carrier protects the roof of your car from scratches and sap, plus it makes the tree easy to carry.
Countdown to Christmas with a box of twelve gorgeous, artisanal chocolates from Salt Confectionery. Each box contains a dozen handmade chocolate pyramids made from premium Belgium white or dark chocolate and includes flavours such as strawberry, matcha, Oreo, and almond macadamia. Yum!
The ToyTree is a Christmas tree designed specifically for babies and toddlers. This expandable tree is a safe, fun, and educational toy that includes lights, music, and toys, so it would be perfect for the home, Sunday school classroom, or daycare.
Handmade using a variety of woods—such as zebrano, oak, ash, and alder—these holiday cards feature accents of beeswax, copper, and watercolour. With 3D and movable elements, these cards are small works of art.
Looking for a modern take on a Christmas tree? Then check out the One for One Christmas EcoTree from MIO, which has a fun and unique tool-free, hardware-free, modular design. Made from recycled, FSC-certified cardboard, the EcoTree is easy to assemble and store. What’s more, for every tree sold, MIO will donate a tree to a family in need via Toys for Tots.
From the snow to the Christmas markets to the warming gløgg, Scandinavia is incredibly lovely during the holidays. I have a penchant for Scandinavian Christmas decorations, so this julehjerter [woven hearts] enamel pin caught my eye. This sweet pin would be a subtle, festive addition to any outfit. [Psst… If you want to make your own julehjerter ornament, check out these instructions in the Craft Cottage.]
Raymond the reindeer and I both LOVE London—we’ve travelled there together a few different times over the years. Understandably, I have an affinity for Heathrow Airport, so I especially adore this heartwarming video from LHR about loved ones reconnecting over the holidays. Watch below and get ready for some warm fuzzies.
Add a bit of the beach to your winter decor with this elegant grapevine wreath. Featuring starfish and grasses, this aqua and silver wreath is perfect for anyone who loves the sea. With its sparkly accents and chilly colours, this wreath could stay up all throughout the winter.
Last November, the outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailer REI did something rather unheard of. On Black Friday, they closed all of their stores and paid their 12,000 employees to spend time outside. They dubbed this campaign #OptOutside, and they encouraged everyone else to join them in the great outdoors instead of at the shopping mall. What a refreshing idea!
This year I’m thrilled to report that REI has partnered with Subaru, and together they are inviting dog lovers to #OptOutside with their pups this Friday. I simply cannot think of a better way to spend a day than being outside enjoying nature with my best friend—my basset hound—so I’m all for this. If you need help deciding what to do with your pup, check out REI’s list of dog-friendly activities.
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was established 150 years ago, making it the oldest humane society in the United States. As the President & CEO of the ASPCA Matthew Bershadker said, their “focus is to get pets out of shelters and keep them in homes, while increasing the protections of animals under the law. We are helping to shape a society that continuously improves the lives of animals.”
True to their motto—“We are their voice”—the ASPCA strives to make lives better for animals in a variety of ways. They work with the government to enact and enforce animal protection laws, perform spay/neuter operations across the country, run an adoption centre in NYC, transport animals to shelters, save animals from horrible conditions, and much, much more. Working to protect those who have no voice is a noble mission indeed.
I truly hope that everyone will venture outdoors with their dogs this Friday to pause and enjoy the beauty of nature. If you do, don’t forget to post a photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the #OptOutside and #MakeADogsDay hashtags to help raise money for the ASPCA! Additionally, if you want to give more to the animals, you can always donate to the ASPCA in honour of a loved one or host a Holiday Campaign.
As the weather cools down, there’s nothing quite like curling up with a book under a warm, fluffy blanket—especially if the blanket is as glorious as this super chunky knit blanket! Made from 100% Australian Merino sheep wool, this blanket would keep you cozy and warm even during the middle of winter. Available in a variety of colours, including strawberry [shown below], mint, grey, lilac, and more.
In a little more than a month, Santa will be making his annual trip around the world. This is a particularly busy time of year here at northpole.com, and I’m sure all of you are working on your Christmas preparations as well. 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 tasty recipes, awesome crafts, 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 are wondering where Raymond the reindeer travelled to this year, love holiday events, or simply need a daily dose of Christmas joy, the Elf Blog has you covered. All of us elves look forward to spending the holiday season with you and yours!
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!
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.]