Messages from Santa!

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Good… evening, lol.  I hope it doesn’t bother anyone to get late posts on a Sunday, but this post was just too good to wait!  I have just been dying to share all these awesome Christmas tools I have been researching!  These are neat for anyone with children, grandchildren, or anyone who enjoys the holiday season and festivities!  Will start with the “simple” stuff first and work our way up…

{letters to Santa}

Mailing Santa a letter… this is a must-do for any child as soon as they learn to put pen to paper!  Not only does it help them get in the holiday spirit, it helps YOU for two reasons… #1 you have a keepsake that you can look at for years.  This year, our 7 year old put a few things on his list that cracked me up, my favorite being “grapes that dad can’t eat” LOL.  Guess he’s tired of sharing.  #2 you have a written list of gift ideas, so no more remembering what they pointed at on the TV or trying to figure out what it means when they describe it as “that one toy with the thing that makes that one noise…” yeah.  Good luck, lol.

Now, you can do this all on your own, OR you can use a printable letter template to brighten things up a little bit… I really liked the printable letters I found at Raining Hot Coupons.  These would be perfect to print out for your child to write their letter to Santa on, add that special little touch.  For children who are not quite able to write a complete letter, this form letter from Moo Moo’s & Tutus is super cute and easy, too!

{letters from Santa}

What’s a letter to Santa without receiving a Letter from Santa in return!  Here are a few websites that offer some free solutions to writing a letter to your child from Santa.  Easy Free Santa Letter  has some really neat letters that you can personalize with your child’s information (for free and for purchase, so be careful!).  I’ll admit, though, that their Magical Package looks pretty neat and comes with extras, such as the Nice List Certificate that matches the letter and a signed photo from Santa.  BUT, your child will be thrilled with a letter from Santa whether it comes with the extras or not.  Another website that I found (and used last year for my kiddos) is Free Letters From Santa Claus.  They have cute layouts to choose from, too, and they are ALL free!

Still can’t find a letter that suites your needs?  Don’t be afraid to create one yourself!  Need to include a special message?  Type it up using your word processor and add some cute clipart for pizzazz!  OR, don’t underestimate the hand written letter!  Anyone can type one up on the computer, but imagine receiving a special note from Santa!

{nice list certificate}

Are you like some of us that have children that can’t even convince themselves that they have been good, much less anyone else?  Ease their little minds with proof of their “Nice” status by mailing them a Nice List Certificate with their letter from Santa!  Most of the websites that provide Letters from Santa have optional purchases for Nice List Certificates.  BUT, did you know that Microsoft Word has certificate templates you can download?  Here is one I created in about 20 minutes (none of these images are mine, they were borrowed from Google Images search!)

Nice List Certificate

Is it perfect?  No, but it’s free and sometimes that’s all that matters.  Like I said about the letters, your child is going to be thrilled no matter what it looks like or how much you didn’t pay.

{North Pole postmark}

You can’t have a Santa Letter without a postmark from North Pole, Alaska!  Here you have a few options depending on how much time you have and ho curious your children are.

#1… you can send your letter through the USPS and they will postmark it for you.  This takes a little pre-planning and I’m pretty sure we have already missed the cut-off for this year.  Save it for next year, though, it would be cool to know it went all the way to the North Pole and back!  North Pole address (USPS postal instructions)

#2… you can buy a rubber stamp and stamp it on there yourself.  I have seen many on Etsy, but again it takes some planning to get it ordered and shipped.

Postmark

#3… you can print one on the envelope yourself.  This can be tricky if you’re not experienced with printing envelopes, but with a little trial and error, I’m sure you can get it worked out.  To start with, find a postmark that you like from the North Pole (again, Google Images search here).

I did mine in three steps.  First, I printed my envelope addresses (return mail from Santa, addressed to my child at our address).  Second, I printed a stamp, cut it out by hand and glued it on the envelope, right where a real stamp would go.  Third, I ran the completed envelope back through the printer (after the glue on the stamp dried!).  This was the tricky part because I had to align the postmark to print OVER my stamp.  It turned out good, but it took me a few tries.  So basically, print out more fake stamps than you need so you’ll be prepared, lol.

Technically, you can add the address, stamp and postmark all at the same time to make it simpler, but it won’t be as “authentic” and… doing it that was is just too easy, lol!

Of course, if your child is young enough, you don’t have to worry about this small detail.  My kids are getting to the age where they’re trying to figure out if Santa is real, so the details count.  Last year they looked at me funny when I said I had mail from Santa because they check the mail every day before I get home (fake stamps can’t go in the mailbox).

{tools from the North Pole}

My new favorite site, Portable North Pole!  My personal favorite tool (FREE!) is the personalized video from Santa… for kids and adults!  I did one for my husband to test it out!  They also have tons of neat, personalized items that you can buy from their store, such as a Premium Christmas video, a personalized phone call from Santa, door hangers and coloring books… be sure to check it all out.

Another wonderful site… NorthPole.com.  They have special log-ins for children and adults that limits the type of information accessed.  Children’s activities include sending Santa a letter, read stories about Santa, the elves, and the reindeer, and an Elf Clubhouse with games!  One tool I got to check out in the Parent/Adult Log In is Catch Santa in YOUR Home!  You literally just upload a photo of your living room and crop Santa into it!  I’m saving mine to reveal on Christmas morning!

Santa photo

I haven’t tried this yet for myself, but I know Norad Santa Tracker is a classic and is on my list this year!

NORAD

NORAD is a very fun and interactive website that is currently counting down to Christmas Eve Night when it’ll be time to track Santa’s trip around the world!  They also have awesome games, music and more!  This is a must see for the holiday festivities!

Elf Yourself is another favorite of mine, I use it to create multiple videos each year.

Elf Yourself

Your child (and your entire family!) will get such a laugh out of these videos.  We always laugh ourselves silly and can’t wait to do some more.  We even share them on Facebook, it’s such a hoot!  All you need is photos from your computer or Facebook, crop them down to fit, and this nifty little program does the rest of the work for you!  Definitely add this to your list, you won’t be disappointed!

Now can you see why I have been so excited to post these awesome websites?  I know that making the season as festive as possible for our kids is a high priority in my family and I’m sure your family will enjoy these, as well!  What will you do first?  A video?  A letter?  Oh, the excitement!  Ready… Set… Create!

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