Keep 'em believin' series Part VI
It’s not easy believing in Santa these days. With other kids at school that might have a different reality (so they may like to insist he is not real), to the internet doling out info at the touch of the keyboard. Kids start to question believing the things they can’t see, especially in a world that can’t see the magic. So it can be a struggle to keep the excitement and fascination of the season alive.
One of the best gifts we can give our children is a greater connection to those mysterious characters that make the season so magical. Personal experiences with Santa, his helpers and his mystical land goes a long way toward helping the childlike joy of the season stay alive.
The North Pole TImes is a free resource that has been doing just that. This holiday news-themed website keeps kids up-to-date on all the goings-on at Santa’s Village. Kids connect with the personalities from the North Pole while reading new content daily about their antics from Thanksgiving day until Christmas.
Created in 1995 by a group of volunteer news media professionals, this trust-worthy website is filled with tradition, imagination, and creativity. The stories and activities will keep kids coming back for more throughout the season.
And after 25 years, the site has gained a loyal, multi-generational following, “I’m SO EXCITED to read these (daily stories) to my son!! I remember checking every day when I was a kid & reading to my little brother… “ wrote one Instagram follower. “I randomly thought to check one day a few weeks ago and I am THRILLED it’s back up again… . my heart is so so so happy.”
The main story follows the adventures of Waldo Elf, who is like a cross between Rudolph and Charlie Brown. My 10-year-old son and I have been reading each of his adventures so far this season, and after each entry my son tries to guess what is going to happen next.
And he is so excited about the story, throughout the day he asks if the next installment is out yet (sometimes these days blend together!).
But that is not all you will find. Each day there are reports from different news departments, creating a large variety of content. For example, on Fridays you can read new stories from Fly-About Franny. Each week she visits a new country and readers can learn about the holiday traditions of the families she visits.
I predict Super Secret Sundays will be my son's favorite. Super Secret Jack Spinner and his sidekick Zachery the Kosmic Kid are Santa’s favorite detectives. They jump into action whenever there is a mystery to solve at the North Pole.
The sports section is published every Monday. It is called the Reindeer Games and covers all the training and competitions that are happening this time of year to make sure the reindeer are in tip-top shape and ready to fly around the entire earth on Christmas Eve.
On Tuesdays, Toomer Elf reports on the good kids around the world and their terrific tasks (get it? Terrific Task Tuesday? Hooray for illeration!). Eddie Elf brings you his Editorials on Wednesdays. And on Saturdays Professor Ellie Elf shares lessons from the School of Wonders, the school young elves attend at the North Pole.
My son spent quite a bit of time on the site, even before the stories were available. He loved checking the Naughty and Nice list. He also keeps his Christmas list up-to-date on the site and of course, writes letters to Santa. He wanted to know if Santa drank eggnog.
Check out the free worksheets which include crossword puzzles, word searches, mazes and coloring pages that will get kids exploring the rest of the site.
Mrs. Claus shares her favorite recipes including one for Santa’s favorite cookie! The recipe I have my eye on is for Figgy Pudding. Every year we sing about it. In “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” singers demand some. They even go so far as to say, “We won't go until we get some.” So I must admit I have always wondered about the dish that created such demand. Each year I say I am going to make it, but the recipes are a bit intimidating. But here, on the North Pole Times site, Mrs. Claus shares a Figgy Pudding recipe that looks easy enough that I could make it with the kids.
And don't miss the craft page! The craft that jumped out to us is the Christmas Elf Puppets. One of my older kids has been doing some shadow puppetry work over the last few months, so these drew my attention. This allows my younger child to have his own puppets that he can work similarly to his sibling. We will make these, and attach them to wood skewers so he can record his own Christmas story to send to people via my social media. A video Christmas card! He can also act out the stories we read together each day on the North Pole Times.
So introduce the North Pole Times to your kids, and be sure to tell us what your favorite part of the site is!
For proof that Santa is real, pick up one of our magical Santa Proof Kits.