One of my favourite parts of the Christmas preparations is sitting down with the kids to watch their faces when they receive a personalised video message from Father Christmas. Pierre still totally believes and his face is always a picture - total excitement, wonderment and happiness, as well as nail-biting suspense as he waits to find out if he's made it on to the naughty or nice list this year ! Juliette doesn't really believe any more but she still gets swept up in the excitement and enjoys watching her video too, seeing her name and photos popping up in unexpected places in the video message. And Sophie, now 14, obviously doesn't believe in Father Christmas any more but she can still join in the fun and games because there are funny and slightly cheeky grown-up versions available too. I get as excited as the kids when we sit down to watch them but I'm always watching their reactions more than the videos !
I usually wait until the start of December for Santa to start getting in touch, but all three of the Madhouse kids, in particular Pierre, have been very unsettled in light of all the news of the Paris attacks on TV at the moment, so I thought it would be nice to move things forward a bit. He definitely found it reassuring and calming to rediscover that some things in the world, such as the benign, all-seeing Father Christmas, remain constant and uncomplicated, whatever's going on in the world. It's also a great way to revisit happier times, such as holiday snaps, when you select the photos that will feature in the clip.
I've been having great fun choosing and personalising the videos this year and I know I'll be making more before the big day arrives. You can watch the personalised videos that I made here, to give you a taste of the Christmas magic - click through to see Pierre's Santa message or Juliette's Santa message . For the purposes of writing the review, we were gifted a Gold Pass worth £9.99 that offers unlimited premium video messages with up to 15 personalisations per video, unlimited calls from Santa and unlimited free HD downloads to keep your special videos from Santa. There are also free videos available, that come with five personalisations, so you don’t have to pay to enjoy the magic of PNP. These will be launched very soon on the site so keep an eye on their Facebook page for more info. (While you're there, make sure you check out their festive craft ideas, posted by Vivia the Craftician elf every Sunday in the run up to Christmas.)
If you're unsure whether to go for the free or premium options, there are a few things to bear in mind - the premium video messages are twice as long as the free videos offering almost 6 minutes of magical Santa screentime and more personalisations, and they show the naughty or nice verdict, which is a great way of keeping the kids in check in the run up to Christmas ! (That said, I opted for "not quite nice" for the kids one year, with the idea that it would boost them on to make even more efforts, and they burst into tears so I only go for the nice list now !!). One final thing to take into account is that PNP donates 5% of all online sales to 40 children’s hospitals across the world, of which four are based in the UK.
Further content is available such as online games, birthday and Christmas Eve messages (with shorter videos because Santa's a bit too busy to give a guided tour this time !) and even Portable North Pole Greeting cards which are available from Tesco and can be sent with a special personalised video message which is accessed by a unique code sent with the card.
Once you've experienced the PNP magic, it will undoubtedly become an integral part of your Christmas preparations that the whole family will enjoy - seeing the look on young children's faces when they get a video or call from Santa is heart-melting and totally priceless !
for more information : www.portablenorthpole.com
Disclosure : We were gifted a premium pass in order to write an honest review.