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!
Filled with some of the charm Raymond & I experienced in Savannah, this heart embroidery hoop ornament would be a sweet addition to your Christmas tree—or you could simply hang it on your wall! With embroidered and beaded details, this 3-inch hoop is just darling. [Psst… Not digging these colours? The Etsy shop has loads of colourways to choose from.]
So far this year I’ve told you about Raymond’s and my adventures bustling about NYC, relaxing in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hoofing around London so Raymond could take in even more sights, and soaking up some history in Rome. Raymond and I travelled to one other city during our downtime this year… Savannah, Georgia!
We made our way down to Savannah to visit a friend of mine who was travelling around the Southeastern United States on her bicycle. This friend put so many miles on her bicycle that you would think it’s Santa’s sleigh!
All of us enjoyed Savannah’s Southern charm with its historic buildings and tree-lined streets. Raymond was especially intrigued by the Spanish moss that grows hanging from tree branches all over the city.
Enjoying a muggy day in Savannah
Silly reindeer having fun in the Spanish moss
During our trip, walking was our main source of transportation, so we were able to enjoy quite a number of Savannah’s squares and green spaces. We had a delicious brunch near Forsyth Park, which was rather lovely. Not only are there several statues in the park, but the beautiful azaleas were also in bloom.
Reading the inscription on the Spanish-American War Memorial in Forsyth Park
Hammin’ it up near some azaleas
Before we journeyed back to the North Pole, Raymond and I went down to River Street to check out the Savannah River one more time, as well as pick up some gophers for the trip home. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Gophers!? Huh?” Gophers are a Savannah treat made by pouring caramel over a bed of Georgia pecans and topping all that with chocolate. They were so yummy that we ate them all before we could get a photo!
Tummy full of gophers near the Savannah River
Raymond and I had a fabulous time in Savannah. Where should Raymond visit next year? Let us know in the comments!
Founded by Danny Thomas over a half century ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a treatment and research facility located in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude’s mission is beyond commendable: to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No child is denied treatment based on race, religion, or a family’s ability to pay. Not only do patients’ families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, they also don’t have to pay for lodging, travel, or food. On top of that, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to over 80%. Incredible!!
If you’re feeling some warm fuzzies about this amazing organization and want to help, there are several ways you can get involved this holiday season.
Make an Honourary Donation
For a unique gift this Christmas, make a donation in honour of a loved one. With your donation, St. Jude offers a variety of cards to bid festive tidings to the honouree, as well as let them know about your honourary donation. You can select between ecards, mailable cards, or print-at-home cards.
Did you know that a donation of $69 could fund a St. Jude child’s platelet count test? Or a donation of $30 could fund meals for a St. Jude family for an entire day?
Decorate the St. Jude Tree
Send a holiday greeting or a message of love & hope to the children and families at St. Jude by customizing a Christmas ornament and placing it on their interactive tree.
Select a ball ornament, angel, elf, or candy cane [designed by a St. Jude patient!] and write a sweet message to go along with your ornament. After “hanging” your ornament, you have the option to also make a donation to St. Jude.
Donate through St. Jude’s Partners
A multitude of companies—such as Delta, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Melting Pot—have teamed up with St. Jude to help raise even more money to provide treatment for ill children. Some of these companies offer specialized merchandise to benefit St. Jude, while others allow you to donate when making a purchase online or in store. These programs have made a huge difference, as some companies, like Williams-Sonoma, have raised tens of millions of dollars for St. Jude! Visit the St. Jude website to find out how your favourite brand is involved.
If you want to simply give to St. Jude in order to help out this wonderful organization, you may easily donate online.
Hippos, polar bears, and snow—oh my! The Memorable Image creates cards featuring photographs of scenes made with miniature animal figurines, and boy are they cute. So adorable, in fact, that I couldn’t decide which hippo card I liked best, so I just have to highlight both!
Check our their other Christmas cards for additional animal options, such as dinosaurs, owls, penguins, and more.
Say “Merry Christmas” the Italian way by using this “Buon Natale” stamp on your Christmas cards, envelopes, or gift wrap. Baking biscotti or Italian cookies for your loved ones? You could use this beautiful stamp to create gift tags to go along with your homemade goodies.
After travelling to London, New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains this year, Raymond and I thought it would be interesting to visit another city where we could soak up a lot of history. Raymond was particularly interested in checking out old ruins and historic buildings, so we decided to make our way down to Rome, Italy!
It was incredibly hot while we were in Rome—possibly even hotter than when we went to South Korea last year. Let me tell you, when you live at the North Pole, you aren’t used to heat and humidity! In between purveying the sites, Raymond and I ducked into the shade and made sure to drink plenty of water.
For our first stop, Raymond and I visited the Pantheon, which was built nearly 2,000 years ago. Used as a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century, the Pantheon is beautiful and incredibly well-preserved.
Raymond in the hot sun outside the Pantheon
Admiring the coffered concrete dome and oculus inside the Pantheon
Tempted to hop into the water of the Fontana del Pantheon to cool off in Piazza della Rotonda
Next we decided to stop for some lunch. As you may remember, Raymond and I are both vegetarians, and thankfully there is a plethora of vegetarian Italian dishes. Some days we couldn’t decide… Pasta? Pizza? Salad? Gelato? All of the above?
About to chow down on a caprese salad. Yum!
Raymond and I could eat Italian cuisine all day, but we had other sights to see, so we ventured forth in the Roman sun. We came across a large building that turned out to be Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. Built in the early 1900s, this monument was erected in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy.
In front of Altare della Patria, also known as Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II
With the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the background
From Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, we passed the Roman Forum on our way to the Colosseum. Raymond was fascinated by the ruins, as some of them date back nearly 3,000 years!
Enjoying a visual history lesson
A trip to Rome would be incomplete without a visit to the Colosseum. Completed almost 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum is the largest amplitheatre in the world. Raymond and I both loved the Colosseum in its beautiful ruined state.
Excited to check out the Colosseum
Some estimates say the Colosseum could hold between 50,000–80,000 spectators—yowza!
Raymond and I had a blast in Italy, taking in the historical sites and tasty cuisine. Where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out!