This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NorthpoleFun #CollectiveBias. Here I’ll share some of our family’s Christmas traditions and some fun gift-giving ideas for Christmas.
One of our family traditions is hiking out into a National Forest and finding and cutting down our own Christmas tree. The National Forest issues permits to families who want an all-natural tree based upon forest growth and availability. My husband is a huge fan of the outdoors and he loves to get the entire family out into nature for a little family fun. My youngest son turns three soon so this is the first Christmas that he’ll have the opportunity to truly experience the joy and wonder of Christmas – including our annual tree hunting and tree cutting family activity.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but Hallmark recently released a movie called Northpole and in it they have loads of ideas for family fun including lighting a Christmas tree, snowball fights, baking cookies, ice skating, and more. The movie is rated G and is family friendly. It’s all about how one little boy and his elf friend save the Northpole by bringing people together to celebrate Christmas at the town’s Christmas tree lighting. The movie is a great reminder of the importance of community. The main emphasis is on loving others and going the extra mile to gift someone else a little happiness.
Northpole Family Fun
I enjoyed the movie so much, that while I was shopping for groceries at Walmart I decided to pick up a few things to give as Christmas gifts to family and friends. Now, I realize I’m spoiling the surprise on some of our family’s gift-giving ideas, but I just thought I’d share some of these ultimate fun gift ideas with you. If your family is anything like mine, there are a bunch of Northpole items you’ll love. Find out more about the Northpole by Hallmark toys here: http://wm6.walmart.com/Northpole.aspx and see a trailer for the movie here: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/northpole.
Christmas Tree Hunting
With two boys and an active family, our #1 pick from the Northpole line of toys and books is a snowball launcher called The Avalauncher. Our family trecked into the National Forest and I brought two Avalaunchers with me. It was the perfect thing to have on our hike! We hiked down into a ravine and found a large patch of snow. We searched the immediate area and could not find a tree to fit our family. Searching for a tree with a two year-old and four year-old isn’t easy, so I sent my husband off in search of a tree while I pulled out the The Avalaunchers.
The boys were so excited to try their new toys! And I admit, it’s fun when you can gift a Christmas present a little early. I truly enjoyed teaching them how to load their “snowballs” into The Avalaunchers and they had a blast shooting and re-loading their snowballs. These toys are very safe, I dare say you could shoot them indoors. The balls are fairly soft and made of foam. And since The Avalaunchers are air-powered, it will only go as far as a child can launch it (maybe two to three feet).
While out in the snow, we also built some small towers out of snow and even had some fun throwing snow at each other. My eldest pretended he was on a moose hunt and my youngest pretended his Avalauncher was a shovel.
My husband did find a tree 150 yards from where the boys and I were playing. We hiked over to the tree and worked together as a family to cut it down. You have to use a hand saw when cutting down a tree out here. It takes a little longer but the results are worth it.
Now normally after an active day outside, the boys would fall asleep on the way home. However, this time, mommy was the only one who fell asleep. I guess even mommies need a nap every once in awhile.
Making Christmas Cookies
While daddy hung Christmas lights outside, I put our youngest down for his nap and then my four year-old and I started to make some of our annual Christmas Cookies. We think the Northpole Cookie Wonder Wheel and Sprinkle Bell are loads of fun for creating Christmas Cookies. The handles are perfect for small hands and the innovative design of the Cookie Wonder Wheel makes it easy for a preschooler to roll out cookies. These fun-loving kitchen tools make a great gift. In this case, they are a gift for mommy.
But the cookies? Well that’s another story. We gifted some cookies to my husband’s mom, Nana. We love to gift cookies to close family and friends.
We decided to sprinkle our cookies in red and green sprinkles – the perfect colors for Christmas cookies. For the recipe we use to create our Christmas Cookie Cut-Outs, just follow the link for ingredients and directions.
We finished baking three batches of cookies and Daddy brought in our tree. After supper I put on the Northpole movie while we decorated the Christmas tree. The best part about decorating our tree this year is that both boys were able to help.
O Christmas Tree
Final take on our National Forest Christmas tree…
Our tree is a hodge podge gathering of my husband and I merging our lives together. It has family photos, Salvation Army ornaments, and ornaments from department stores. As the boys grow we add their handmade ornaments. Hanging ornaments on the tree is a walk down memory lane. I’m so thankful for my many blessings – especially at Christmas.
I also picked up a few other wonderful Northpole gifts for family and friends. I’ve photographed a few of my gift ideas here.
Give the Gift of Happy Memories
A Gift for Nana
For grandparents, I love the gift that gives happy memories. With hot cocoa and cookies my two small children would love to sit in Nana’s lap while she reads the book “Nighty Night Northpole.” This book is perfect for early readers with just a few words per page and an enchanting rhyme to tell the story of bedtime at the Northpole. I’ve pictured our Christmas cookies here on the Fun Spreader and Party Plate alongside some hot cocoa in the Merry Mug – a delightful way to gift our Christmas cookies.
A Gift for Family and Friends
I have sisters, and nieces and nephews, and all of them would love the “Once Upon a Northpole Christmas” story book and, of course, we would have to send them some of our homemade Christmas cookies. In the story, Mrs. Claus explains, “the globe that burns the brightest is the one that glows with the happiness families share as long as they spend time together.” Spending time together as a family, I think that’s the best way to spend Christmas. The “Once Upon a Northpole Christmas” storybook comes with a Northpole Find Me, Santa! Snowflake. You can watch a short video clip about this special snowflake here: http://youtu.be/na17SSdk4cA
Give the Gift of Snowball Fun
My boys had a blast with The Avalaunchers and they make a great toy for young children. I picked up some extra foam “snowballs” for our Avalunchers and two Magic Snowballs. The Magic Snowballs are super soft and could easily be used as part of a real snowball fight. The great thing about them is that they blink and light up when you throw them – just like the Magic Snowballs in the Northpole movie. The card reads, “Peace on Earth. Just not during snowball fights.”
Thanks for joining us in our quest for our National Forest Christmas tree and for letting me share some of our family’s Christmas gift-giving ideas.
More Family Fun Ideas for Christmas
Speaking of Christmas, I have some wonderful activities including free printables and recipes for creating memorable family-fun over the Christmas holidays.
- Download and create your very own FREE Printable Nativity Puppets – wonderful animated story time fun for the whole family
- Download FREE Advent Ornaments and an Advent Calendar – a wonderful craft and teaching tool for kids
- Follow my easy recipe to create your own Kid Fun Christmas Cookies – great cut-out sugar cookie recipe
- Want to create edible Christmas decorations? Check out my Holiday Oreo Cookie recipe with FREE Printable Ornaments
What fun things do you like to do together as a family over the holidays? Please share by leaving a comment. I love hearing from my readers!
P.S. – I blog to encourage moms, offer free preschool tools, and share ideas for family fun. If you enjoy recipes, free printables, crafts and games for little ones, ideas for family fun and encouraging posts for moms, sign up and have Happy and Blessed Home delivered to your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail address here:
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