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Get the Whole Family Winter-Ready with These Great Black Friday Deals

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Black Friday is here yet again! Some people will decide to #OptOutside, but we’re sure a few folks in the States are braving the cold weather and early morning hours to snag some good deals. For those of you who prefer to stay at home, safe from chilling temperatures and crazed crowds, here are some deals on goods that’ll keep your whole family warm this winter.
Black Friday Deals 2016 on Winter Apparel

  1. Adorable sets like this polar bear hoodie, onesie, and pants set make me wish that it came in larger sizes for elves and adults! ;) Get this set and save an extra 20% off with code THANKS at macys.com! Valid through 11/26.

  2. Boys look the cutest in vests, and this flannel vest will keep your kiddo warm and stylish! Round out his outfit with a dapper driving cap or festive tie. Get 50% off of your entire purchase AND free shipping through 11/29 at Gymboree.com.

  3. Give mom this cozy, plush head wrapicon to keep her warm even on the coldest days. She’ll love the matching neck warmer, too! Take 15% off with code SAVING15 at Kohls.com. Valid today (11/25) only.

  4. Young girls will love this cotton knit beanie with white stars and a squishy white pompom! Available in pink or grey. If you like this hat, be sure to take a peek at these matching boots. Take advantage of Black Friday savings of 50% off at Gymboree AND free shipping (valid through 11/29).

  5. This fair isle scarf will keep dad warm on days when he’s shoveling snow or making snow angels with the kids. Use code THANKS to take an extra 20% off at macys.com! Valid through 11/26.

Looking for more gift ideas for your loved ones? Click here.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Fun Facts About British Christmas Foods

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The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I think about all the yummy foods I’ll be eating this holiday season. Surely I’m not the only one who is salivating over such thoughts, right? ;) I’m particularly excited to try out a few new recipes, such as the yule log. Depending on how it turns out (and how my family responds to it), it might become a “must-have” Christmas dessert!

I also like to keep things lively at family gatherings, so I’m going to tuck away some facts from this infographic so I can pop a few trivia questions at Christmas dinner. Speaking of Christmas dinner, did you know that 50% of people have a gene that makes Brussels sprouts taste bitter? So, if half your family hates sprouts, now you know why!

To learn more fun facts and stats about some British Christmas foods, click on the infographic below.12 Foods of Christmas

Click on the image for a closer look! Infographic via The Fact Site

Etsy Item of the Day: Chicken in a Walnut Ornament

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While I was admiring a needle felted narwhal in this Etsy shop, I stumbled across this chicken in a walnut shell Christmas ornament. I’m not quite sure why, but this rooster speaks to me. Maybe because I’m amused by the idea of rooster in a walnut shell or maybe because it reminds me of a children’s book where people magically packed large things inside small walnut shells. At any rate, this would be a charming ornament to give to someone who keeps chickens on their urban or country homestead.
Red Chicken in a Walnut Christmas Ornament

Etsy Seller: Bossy’s Feltworks

#OptOutside with Your Dog and Support the ASPCA

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#OptOutside with Your Dog

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.

To make this campaign even better, if you post a photo of you and your doggie out in nature with the hashtags #OptOutside and #MakeADogsDay, Subaru will make a donation to the ASPCA.

ASPCA Logo

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.

Donate to the ASPCA

Etsy Item of the Day: Super Chunky Knit Blanket

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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.
Super Chunky Knit Blanket

Etsy Seller: BeCozi

A Special Grinchmas Musical

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grinch-musical-logoIf you love the movie, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, then I’m sure you’ll be as excited as I was to learn about this musical production! Max the dog, Cindy Lou Who, and the green man himself will be on stage delivering a heartwarming performance the whole family will enjoy.

The talented troupe of Whos brings Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale to life with joyous music. Amidst the lineup of merry tunes, you can expect to hear some favorites, such as “Welcome Christmas” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” This grand production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas will leave you filled with the Christmas spirit! Here’s a little taste of what you’ll see:



To catch a show near you, take a peek at the list below. And, if you live near Nashville, TN, you’re in luck because the musical will be performing at Opryland all season long!

Nashville, TN

Grand Ole Opry
November 18–December 25
For tickets and information, click here.
Want to have breakfast with the Grinch? Get the details here.

New Orleans, LA

Saenger Performing Arts Center
November 22–27
For tickets and information, click here.

Durham, NC

Durham Performing Arts Center
November 29–December 4
For tickets and information, click here.

Cleveland, OH

Playhouse Square
December 6–11
For tickets and information, click here.

Washington, D.C.

National Theatre
December 13–31
For tickets and information, click here.

Can’t attend a local show, but want to experience the magic of the musical? Get the Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical soundtrack on iTunes or Amazon.

grinch-musical

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Scandinavian Advent Calendar

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Advent season is almost upon us, and what better way to count down the days ‘til Christmas than with this lovely advent calendar? I love the charming cross stitch pattern on all the boxes—the hearts and snowflake patterns are my favorite! This calendar is a digital download, so you can print it from the comfort of your own home. If this Scandinavian style doesn’t strike your fancy, I’m sure one of these calendars will: penguins & igloos, Christmas cottages, gnomes, or stars.
Printable Scandinavian Advent Calendar

Etsy Seller: Papier Bonbon

The Holidays are Here!

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34 days until Christmas!

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!

Free Wallpaper: A Season of Thanks

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For our American friends, November is the month of thankfulness which culminates on Thanksgiving Day. While it’s great to have a holiday dedicated to giving thanks, gratitude is something we can all exercise year-round. This month challenge yourself to write down something you’re thankful for each day. Set this image as your desktop wallpaper, and Raymond the reindeer will give you a gentle reminder each time you see it.

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

We hope you enjoy this month’s wallpaper from Northpole.com, and we’d like to know: what are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below!

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