November-December 2018

Christmas for Kids

Christmas is a magical time of year — a time for togetherness, for generosity, for good food, good friends and good cheer. It’s also a treat for the senses with twinkling lights, merry music, jingling bells, and warm scents of cinnamon and clove. Children, especially, love the anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning to a bounty of gifts beneath the sparkling tree. It’s a time filled with memories and traditions, which is why we’ve compiled a list of websites geared specifically toward creating even more special memories for the little ones in your life.

Laura Emery, Field Editor

portablenorthpole.com/en/videos
Three excited siblings were already tucked into bed when Mom’s cellphone pinged. “It’s a video message from Santa!” she told her youngsters as their eyes grew wide with surprise. Sure enough, there was Santa talking to the children, by name, from his village in the North Pole. Santa even had photos of the three siblings from out of his secret Naughty or Nice file.

This magical moment was made possible by the portablenorthpole.com, a website that allows Santa to send personalized messages to children. More than 150 million video messages from the PNP digital platforms have been viewed by Santa fans since its launch in 2008. There are a handful of popular video templates available for free, but you also have the option to buy premium content, which includes more personalization options, more photos, and a wider variety of incredible scenes. PNP is available on portablenorthpole.com, as well as mobile phones and tablets via a free downloadable mobile application. This app is compatible with Apple’s devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) as well as most Android phones and tablets.

PNP also proudly partners with children’s hospitals across the world and has made the lives of sick kids a little brighter. Its hospital program donates 5 percent directly to participating hospitals.


icaughtsanta.com
Proof of Santa’s existence no longer lies in a half-eaten cookie discovered on Christmas morning by excited youngsters. Now, photographic evidence is expected. And that’s where icaughtsanta.com saves the day. The app allows parents to create unlimited photos on a smartphone or tablet using Santa stickers (or Rudolph the Reindeer) that can be inserted into any image of a glowing Christmas tree with piles of gifts beneath. Just snap a photo of your Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and then slap on a Busted Santa sticker and — voila! — you now have proof that Santa visited your house! The look of wonder and surprise when children see Santa in their home makes this app a Christmas must for those with small children. Best part is that it’s a free download!


thebestideasforkids.com/christmas-crafts-for-kids
There’s something about Christmas crafts that makes them both memorable and magical. Here, you’ll find nearly 50 adorable Christmas crafts for kids. Whether it’s a snowman slime jar, clothespin reindeer, popsicle-stick Christmas tree or a paper plate Santa, they’re timeless and treasurable.


parents.com/recipes/holidays/christmas/12-kid-friendly-christmas-cookies
At parents.com, they understand the undeniably strong connection between kids and cookies, especially during the holidays. “Mark the days before Santa’s arrival with these adorable holiday sweets. We trimmed a lot of the baking steps so kids can get to the favorite parts — decorating and eating. Your kitchen will be overflowing with homemade treats and happy children in no time,” reads the website introduction.


northpole.com
This is a great, interactive holiday website for children of all ages. Here you can write to Santa Claus, read stories, enjoy karaoke, send holiday e-cards, peek inside Mrs. Claus’ cookbook for delicious recipes, play games and puzzles, enjoy educational activities, chat with Santa’s elves, print stories to color — even put you or your child in a personalized story. This website’s stories and activities combine traditional feelings of Christmas goodwill with state-of-the-art computer technology for a child-safe, family-friendly online holiday experience. Don’t forget to check out Disco Dancing Santa getting his boogie on, as he’s a popular feature on the site and has brought giggles to many.


christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/tp/christmascharit.htm
Christmas is synonymous with indulgence, as people stuff themselves with delectable delights and fill their homes with gifts galore. It’s easy, during this time of year, to forget that there are many families who are struggling just to put food on the table. Elaborate parties and holiday gifts just aren’t in the picture for them. This year, consider helping others in need by donating to a charity. About.com has compiled a list of the top five Christmas charity projects. They include Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child, Make a Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, and My Two Front Teeth. It’s a great way to teach children about the importance of thinking of other children during this special time of year, so that the holiday can be magical for everyone.