As any parent knows, it gets harder and harder to protect the wonder of Santa Claus for kids. My seven-year old, in particular, is regularly bombarded by skeptics on television, and on the bus, who question how Santa could exist.
While I don't want to MAKE him believe in Santa (when he asks, I will tell him the truth), unlike other kids, I have found that he WANTS to believe. He's not questioning me about whether Santa is real, instead he is regularly looking for proof that Santa is a real person, sitting at the North Pole, considering what he will bring my son for Christmas.
So you can imagine how excited he was when Santa sent him, and his sister, personal messages through the PNP (Portable North Pole). They both sat, transfixed, as I played videos where Santa praised them for the things they were doing right (trying his best and eating her vegetables). They both yelled when their photos appeared in the "naughty/nice" book. And they continued to discuss for hours why the videos proved Santa was real (Anders "he knew about Brownie." Sophie "he knew I was 4 years old! and had blue eyes!").
To request these personalized videos, I went to the Portable North Pole (PNP) web site, and completed a short questionnaire about each child. For those concerned about privacy, they didn't ask for any information I was uncomfortable providing (eg my last name, phone number, birthday, etc).
The service was free, and I haven't noticed an uptick on the amount of junk mail I receive (another concern whenever I use a system like this). I did notice that I got stuck a couple of times when creating the videos. I assume this is because the system is getting overwhelmed as Christmas approaches.
At a time of year when we are "crazy busy" trying to get everything done (cards, presents, meals, vacations, etc), this site gave us an opportunity recapture the simpler pleasures of the season.
And made me want to believe in Santa Claus.
Have you visited the Portable North Pole? What did your kids think?