Homemade Snow Globes

 Homemade Snow Globes

 

You’ll be snowed under with offers from kids wanting to help you put together these cute snow globes. Just make sure they don’t nibble up all the ingredients before they’re decorated! Together, the globes would make a fun centerpiece…or use individually for creative place cards.

 
6 ServingsPrep: 1 hour + standing

Ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 sugar cookies (about 3-1/2 inches)
  • Assorted decorations: miniature marshmallows, orange and brown jimmies, Fruit Roll-Ups, spearmint leaves, peppermint candies, edible glitter and holiday sprinkles
  • 3 clear plastic ornaments (3 inches)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Cover frosting with a damp cloth between uses. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
  • Working with one cookie at a time, spread 2 tablespoons frosting over the top of cookie.
  • For snowman, cut two miniature marshmallows in half. Attach three halves with a small amount of frosting. Decorate face with jimmies. For scarf, trim a thin 1-1/2-in. strip from a Fruit Roll-Up. Shape a toboggan from a strip of Fruit Roll-Up; attach toboggan to cookie. Attach snowman to toboggan. Add spearmint leaves for trees.
  • With a dab of frosting, attach four peppermint candies to the bottom of each cookie. Let stand overnight to dry completely.
  • To assemble, separate ornaments into halves. Working with one cookie at a time, spread edge of ornament half with frosting. Place 1 teaspoon edible glitter and 1 teaspoon holiday sprinkles inside ornament; carefully invert decorated cookie onto ornament half, sealing edges. Use frosting and a star tip to pipe a decorative edge around globe. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 6 snow globes.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Crystal Keepsakes 80mm Everyday Ball-shaped Crystal Ornaments, available at craft stores. Meringue powder and edible glitter are available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com.
 

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St. Nicholas Square – Fox Ornament

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November 12, 2012 · 4:17 am

Christmas Dinner Around the World

Source: bbs.readnovel.com

What is Christmas without food and drink?
With a strong believe that what to be consumed on Christmas day is the centre of this celebration
(besides getting together with family members and friends, of course),
I would like to introduce Christmas Dinner enjoyed by people in different countries throughtout the world.

IntroductionChristmas dinner is the primary meal traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In many ways the meal is similar to a standard Sunday dinner. Christmas feasts have traditionally been luxurious and abundant. King John of England, in the year 1213, ordered about 3,000 capons, 1,000 salted eels, 400 hogs, 100 pounds of almonds and 24 casks of wine for his Christmas feast.Christmas dinner around the world may differ and the traditions present below can reflect the culture of the respective country it is being celebrated in. Turkey is present in a fair number of these meals.
Australia Christmas dinner in Australia tends to be very similar to the traditional English version.However due to Christmas falling in the heat of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, meats such as boar, turkey and chicken are sometimes served cold.

Barbecues are also a popular way of avoiding the heat of the oven. Seafood such as prawns (shrimp) is common, as are barbecued cuts of steak or chicken breasts, drumsticks and wings.

In summer, Australians are also fond of Pavlova, a dessert composed of berries atop a baked meringue. Fruits of the season include mangoes and cherries.

Austria Christmas cuisine in Austria is similar to that of Germany. Christmas Eve is the celebration of the end of the pre-Christmas fast.Christmas Eve is historically the day that the tree is decorated and lit with real candles, so that the Christkindl may visit. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Austria and most Austrians spend the day feasting with their family.


(Sacher torte)


(Lebkuchen)

Fried carp, Sacher torte and Christmas cookies ( lebkuchen and sterne) are eaten, and many other chocolate delicacies including edible Christmas ornaments.


(Gluhwein)

Christmas dinner is usually Goose, Ham served with Gluhwein, Rumpunsch, and Chocolate Mousse.

Brazil In Brazil, the Christmas meal is quite a feast,( served in the evening on the 24th of December) offering large quantities of food, such as a wide variety of dishes which include fresh vegetables (including Couve a Mineira – Kale, highly seasoned with garlic), luscious fruits and Brazil nuts.Accompanying these are bowls of zesty, colorful rice and platters filled with ham and fresh salad (sometimes cold potato salad is also served) served with roast turkey. Also in some parts of Brazil features roast pork, roast Chicken and fish.


(Panettone)

Other Christmas items include a variety of desserts such as lemon tart, Nuts pie, chocolate cake and also Panettone.

Canada In English Canada, Christmas dinner is similar to that of its colonial ancestor, England, as well as to its neighbour the United States.
(plum pudding)Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing (dressing), mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, vegetables and plum pudding for dessert.

Eggnog, a milk-based punch that is often infused with alcohol, is also very popular around the holiday season.


(butter tarts)

Other Christmas items include butter tarts and shortbread, which are traditionally baked before the holidays and served to visiting friends, at various Christmas and New Year parties, as well as on Christmas Day.

In French Canada, traditions may be more like those of France.

Other ethnic communities may continue to use old world traditions as well.

Czech RepublicA traditional Christmas meal in the Czech Republic is fried carp and potato salad. This tradition started after excessive increase of fishpond cultivation in the Baroque era.

Many households also prepare a great variety of special Christmas biscuits to offer to Christmas visitors. These preparations take place many days and weeks prior to the feast and take a long time to decorate with the remainder usually ending up on a Christmas tree as a decoration.

DenmarkIn Denmark the traditional Christmas meal served on December 24 consists of roast pork with crackling, goose, duck, or different combinations of these. The meat is served along with potatoes (some of which are caramelised), red cabbage, and plenty of gravy.

It is followed with a dessert of Risalamande, rice pudding served with cherry sauce or strawberry sauce, often with a whole almond hidden inside. The lucky finder of the almond of which is entitled to an extra present, the almond gift.


(Gløgg)

Christmas drinks are Gløgg and traditional Christmas beers, specially brewed for the season. These usually have a high alcohol content.

FinlandJoulupöytä (translated “Christmas table”) is the name of the traditional food board served at Christmas in Finland, similar to the Swedish smörgåsbord. It contains many different dishes, most of them typical for the season. The main dish is usually a large Christmas ham, which is eaten with mustard or bread along with the other dishes. Fish is also served (often lutefisk and gravlax), and with the ham there are also laatikot, casseroles with liver and raisins, as well as potatoes, rice, and carrots.The traditional Christmas beverage is either alcoholic or non-alcoholic mulled wine (glögi in Finnish).
France In France and some other French-speaking countries, a réveillon is a long dinner, and possibly party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil (meaning “waking”), because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond.
Common dishes include goose or duck liver (foie gras); oysters; smoked salmon; lobster; roasted duck, goose or turkey with chestnuts and stuffing; and, for dessert, a traditional Christmas cake called “La Buche de Noel” (Christmas log), a cream cake that comes in different flavours (chocolate, hazelnut…) and which has the shape of a log.The beverage served is traditionally Champagne.
GermanyIn Germany the primary Christmas dishes are roast goose and roast carp, although suckling pig or duck may also be served. Typical side dishes include roast potatoes and various forms of cabbage such as kale, brussel sprouts and red cabbage.
(weisswurst)

In some regions the Christmas dinner is traditionally served on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve. In this case, dinner on Christmas Eve is a more simple affair, consisting of sausages (such as weisswurst) or macaroni salad.

Sweets and Christmas pastries are nearly obligatory and include marzipan, spice bars (lebkuchen), several types of bread, and different fruitcakes and fruited breads like Christstollen and Dresden Stollen.

Iceland
(Hamborgarhryggur)The Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve at 18:00. The main dish varies much between families. The most common is probably Hamborgarhryggur, which is a kind of pork rib steak.(Other common dishes are roast game like reindeer, ptarmigan and smoked lamb, (hangikjöt) and a great variety of steaks such as Duck, Turkey which are also eaten by many on Christmas Day or at other occasions during the Christmas period.
MexicoIn Mexico the Christmas dinner, eaten on Christmas Eve evening, varies with region. Common dishes are various fruits (oranges, lime, tropical fruits) and salad (composed of several ingredients including jícama, beets, bananas, and peanuts).In several states, however, stews are made: either pozole, made of pork or beef and hominy in red chile sauce; or menudo made with beef tripe and hominy also in chile sauce. In the center of Mexico, bacalao (codfish) and romeritos (rosemary) prepared with mole are popular dishes.


(tamales)

In the north of Mexico the most traditional Christmas dish is tamales served with sauce over them and sometimes cream and a bit of crumbly fresh cheese.


(atole)

For dessert, atole (a thinned hot pudding) with buñuelos (fried flour tortillas sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon), or buñuelos soaked in sugar (piloncillo) and cinnamon water, are served. There are also sweet tamales: corn with raisins or sweet beans, or strawberry flavored. Stuffed turkey or ham are also common.

Norway
(pinnekjøtt)The most common dish is ribbe, which is pork ribs. In the western parts of the country, “pinnekjøtt”, sheep, is by far the most popoular Christmas dinner. The traditional lutefisk is also still eaten by some, but it is more commonly eaten at other occasions during the Christmas period.
PhilippinesThe Christmas dinner in the Philippines is called Noche Buena by locals. This usually comes after the entire family has attended a late evening mass called Misa de Gallo, or “midnight mass” in Spanish.
(jamon)The centerpiece of a Filipino Christmas dinner is often the Jamon or Christmas ham, which is usually a cured leg of pork ham. It is usually served with Queso de Bola, an Edam cheese ball served popularly during the Christmas season in the Philippines.


(rellenong manok)

Middle-class and affluent families tend to prepare a gracious dinner, including lechon or spit-roasted pig, lumpia, escabeche, adobo, rellenong manok (stuffed chicken), mechado (beef stew), caldereta (spicy beef stew) and other popular Filipino fare. Lower-income families would tend to prepare a dinner of much cheaper proportions but nevertheless it is always a Philippine custom to spend more on what a family would consume on a regular dinner for the Noche Buena.


(Tsokolate)

The dinner would usually be accompanied with “Tsokolate” or hot chocolate, which is Filipino in style since it is made with pure, locally-grown cacao beans. Some Filipino families prefer hot chocolate made from “tableas” or chocolate tablets.

The importance of the family in Filipino culture is highlighted during the Noche Buena since members from even the extended branches of the family are always expected to come and join in the celebration. Filipino families prefer to exchange Christmas presents right after the dinner, which is different from the usual Western culture of opening presents on the morning of Christmas Day.

PeruOn Christmas Eve (Noche Buena), the extended family join together for a succulent dinner around the turkey, stuffed with ground beef and peanuts and decorated with fresh slices of pineapple and cherries; roast potatoes and apple sauce.
(marzipan)

The desserts include marzipan and assorted bowls with raisins, almonds and the panettone, accompanied by a cup of thick hot chocolate. At midnight, a toast is made, and good wishes and hugs are exchanged. A designated person runs to put Child Jesus in the Nativity scene. Then, the family members take their seat on the dining room while singing Christmas Carols.

Slovakia Christmas dinner in Slovakia, as in Austria, the Czech republic, and Hungary, is celebrated on 24 December.The traditional dinner includes Oplátky (thin waffles with honey and garlic), cabbage soup with prunes and sausage, carp or other fish with potato salad, and Christmas biscuits.
(cabbage soup with prunes and sausage)
United Kingdom and Ireland Christmas dinner in both the United Kingdom and Ireland is usually eaten in the afternoon.The dinner usually consists of roast turkey (although other types of poultry such as goose, chicken, duck, capon or pheasant are common alternatives depending on the number of diners), sometimes with roast beef or ham or, to a lesser extent, pork.
Served with stuffing and sometimes forcemeat; chipolatas and rolled bacon or pigs in blankets; cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly; bread sauce; roast potatoes (sometimes boiled or mashed); vegetables (usually boiled or steamed), particularly brussels sprouts and carrots; with dessert of Christmas pudding (or plum pudding), sometimes mince pies or trifle, with brandy butter and/or cream.


(plum pudding)

In England, the evolution of the main course into turkey did not take place for years, or even centuries. At first, in Medieval England, the main course was either a peacock or a boar, the boar usually the mainstay. After the French Jesuits imported the turkey into Great Britain, it became the main course in the 1700s.

A common tradition in the United Kingdom is to use the turkey’s wishbone. Two people pull opposite ends of the wishbone until it breaks, with the person holding the larger fragment of the bone making a wish.


(Yule log)

The dessert of a British Christmas Dinner may often be Christmas Pudding. Mince pies, a Christmas Cake or a Yule Log are also popular.

United StatesMany Christmas customs in the United States have been adopted from those in the United Kingdom, although customs from other countries are also found. Accordingly, the mainstays of the British table are also found in the United States: roast turkey (or other poultry), beef, ham, or pork; stuffing or dressing, corn, squash, green beans, and mashed potatoes are common.
(pumpkin pie)

Dessert often reflects the ethnic background of the participants, but examples include pumpkin pie, marzipan, pfeffernusse, sugar cookies, panettone, fruitcake, apple pie, carrot cake, bûche de Noël, and mince pie.


(popcorn balls)

Children often help their parents in the kitchen making the meal and often get special sweet rewards, like popcorn balls, gingerbread houses, and candy canes, the last usually munched on as they are hung on the tree.


(Turkey teriyaki)

The centerpiece of a sit-down meal varies on the tastes of the host but can be ham or roast beef, particularly since turkey is the mainstay at dinner for the American holiday of Thanksgiving in November, almost exactly one month earlier. Regional meals offer incredible diversity. Hawaii has Turkey teriyaki and pork dishes, the latter a carryover from Polynesian and Asian traditions, and often seasoned accordingly with fresh pineapple or soy sauce concoctions.


(fluffy biscuits)

Virginia has oysters, ham pie, and fluffy biscuits, a nod to its very English 17th century founders. The Upper Midwest includes dishes from predominately Scandinavian backgrounds such as lutefisk and mashed rutabaga or turnip.


(corn pudding)

New England often has desserts like corn pudding or plates with linguiça sausage, respectively from Native American and old Portuguese recipes.


(empañaditas)

In the Southwest and portions of California, both with distinct Spanish heritage and large Hispanic populations, a traditional Christmas dinner might include posole, tamales, empañaditas (mincemeat turnovers) and biscochitos. In some rural areas, game meats like elk or quail may grace the table, often prepared with recipes that are extremely old: it is likely that similar foodstuffs graced the tables of early American settlers on their first Christmases.


(latkes)

In the United States, it is increasingly not unheard of for people of very different ethnic backgrounds to gather around the table, especially on Christmas Eve when it is common to receive friends as guests and have parties. Thus, dishes that have been handed down over generations often mix at the table; a feast can include an old Neapolitan recipe for eel as a dish, a plate of black eyed peas (African-American origin) and desserts of French-Canadian origin. As the Christmas season often runs very close to Hannukah and the U.S. has an extremely large Jewish population, many Christian Americans often invite their Jewish neighbors and friends over for dinner as a sign of goodwill and love: sometimes (and especially in families where more than one religion exists) one shall see a plate of latkes on the table and small bags of chocolate coins for the children alongside the candy canes.

Source: bbs.readnovel.com

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Types of Christmas Ornaments

Source: housedowntown.com – Posted by Agustin

The festive of Christmas should be noted with great Christmas ornaments. Don’t neglect the look of your house when this holiday comes. The main thing that people should have is a Christmas tree. It is the place where you can put the ornament. Moreover, you can also set some gifts for the members of the family under the tree. There are many types of ornaments that you can have. It will be such a difficult task for you pick the best one.  It will be a great idea if you can find the best ornaments for the Christmas tree some months before the festivity day take place.

Christmas Ornaments in Assorted Look Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Assorted Look

Christmas Ornaments in Colorful balls Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Colorful balls

Christmas Ornaments in Lighted Accent Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Lighted Accent

The first ornament that you can put in the tree is the musical instrument. This is the perfect ornament that you can have to adorn the house during the joyful day since children love it much. You can have it made in various designs, sizes and colors. Most of them will play the Christmas carol song. However, they can look modern or even traditional depending on the type of musical ornament that you have bought on the store. It features the on and off button that you can set based on your intention. Don’t forget to pick the best color palette for the ornament.

Christmas Ornaments in Living room Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Living room

Christmas Ornaments in Nice Look Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Nice Look

Christmas Ornaments in Old Style Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Old Style

The next type of Christmas ornament for your party preparation is called as artisan ornament. It can be made from the hand glass, leather or even wood. You can have it based on your personal preference. But the material also determines the budget. The leather accent will cost you more than the glass and wooden piece. The people who love with rustic Christmas celebration can pick the ornament made from wood. You can have a wood plaque with a note of merry Christmas on it.  If you want modern feel, the glass ornament is the best alternative. It can bring the sparkling and dazzling look. You can purchase this ornament on the Christmas preparation store. Your tree will look definitely fabulous than before.

Christmas Ornaments in Red and Gold Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Red and Gold

Christmas Ornaments in Vintage Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments in Vintage

Christmas Ornaments wit a tree Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments wit a tree

Christmas Ornaments Types of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments

The next type of Christmas ornament is the personalized ornament. It is the best ornament that you can have to bring a unique flair in the tree. You can make it by yourself. Since everyone has their own creativity, the result will be different. If you want to give a special present for your beloved ones, you can make this present on your own. You just need to know the taste of the person so that you can design the best ornament for him or her. If your family comes, you can give it as a keepsake. The last type of Christmas ornament to go is the lighted ornament. It is a nice pick for you can illuminate the house. You can have it adorned with blown glass or even crystal. They are expensive enough to burn your pocket. If you want cost effective lighted Christmas ornaments, you can opt for plastic one.

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Veronica's Cornucopia

Yes, I know it isn’t even Halloween yet and you’re thinking I’m crazy for posting such an obvious December holiday-related recipe, but bear with me, I have good reason for posting this early. 

Many of us have heard of and possibly been gifted (AKA cursed) with friendship bread starter. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can either click here to find out more, or just pretend you never heard about it and maybe you can live out the rest of your life in friendship bread-less bliss. OK, I have to admit that friendship bread is delicious, but it never dies and once the starter infiltrates your circle of friends, you practically have to start shooting people to get them to stop pushing it off on you.

(Forgive me, I still suffer post-traumatic friendship bread disorder, despite my temporary reconciliation with the starter.)

Well, friendship fruitcake starter…

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Ornament Window Frame

Source: Home Depot

Looking for a simple Christmas project to brighten your holidays?  Watch the video for this DIY project

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The North Pole Experience – Arizona

Source: kidfriendlymommyapproves.blogspot.com; Visit www.northpoleexperience.com for more details

RATING
Kids – 5!!!
Mom – 5!!!
In the month of December, I try to make the magic of the Christmas come alive for our children. I have so many fond memories of my childhood Christmas’ and I want the same for my children. When I learned of the inaugural year of a new experience in Greer, Arizona, I was intrigued. We have done the Polar Express in Williams, but after reading online about what the children get to experience in Santa’s Workshop at NPX, I was truly impressed.
Nestled approximately 4 hours north of Phoenix, in the breathtaking beautiful mountains of Northern Arizona, near the Sunrise ski area, Greer is officially now home to something I think will be the most popular Christmas experience destination! In the past the hot ticket in town was booking your “other” Christmas experience” a full year in advance, but truthfully, that ticket is nothing compared to what Greer now has to offer.
The North Pole Experience was designed to give children, a never before, behind the scene peak into Santa’s workshop. The NPX gives families an experience unlike anything they have ever experienced. If your little ones still believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus, this is a trip you must take.
From start to finish, our experience with NPX and Molly Butler’s Lodge was perfection. We have nothing but incredibly great things to say about everything from our lodging, to the meals, and the friendly people. But Santa’s Workshop was the icing on the cake. The adventure that the elves take the families on is so much fun. I’m all about making memories for my children and as we were experiencing this together, all I could think of was, this is something that will stick with them for their life. Even as they grow older and they look back at their childhood memories, I know this one will hold a special place. I honestly cannot wait to have a conversation with them when they are adults to hear in their own detail about what this trip meant to them. I know it will be special.
The detail and thought that has gone into the planning is perfect. From the very minute when you walk inside and see all of the toys on display to Santa’s mail bags and decorations – it’s darling. But when the Elves give the secret knock and let all of the enthusiastic children inside to see the actual workshop, it will blow you away. We walked into a room filled with amazing decor, a raging – wonderful fireplace and a smell like nothing we had ever smelled before. I don’t know how quite to describe it but if I could have stayed there all night and just smelled the aroma, I would have! Its exactly as I would have expected Santa’s North Pole to smell like!
Here is a snap shot of our trip and what I thought was so fantastic:

At check in you are given a high quality packet, with a personal invite from Santa

A letter from Santa and the details of our lodging and meals. The NPX offers many great packages. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the packages that include the meals at  Molly Butler’s. I’ve learned that this lodge is one of the top 25 places to eat in Arizona and everything we ate was delicious. Both of our dinner and breakfast was fantastic. The staff and chefs were incredibly friendly. I hate to keep comparing this experience to the Williams event, but for those of you that have done it, know the food there is nothing to brag about. The NPX actually is!

Back of packet

Not many children are ever allowed in Santa’s Worshop and these are the Golden Key’s to grant you access! They are Souvenir Admission tickets.

There are many wonderful places to stay in the Greer area, but we had the opportunity to experience a Molly Butler cabin. Check in was a breeze as they had everything awaiting our arrival. We stayed in the Weber Cabin, nestled in the mountains. The driveway had been cleared of snow for our arrival and the cabin was perfect. Completely set up with everything and anything we would need. It was very clean and was an absolutely perfect experience!
We had a lot of beautiful land and views all around us. The privacy was great. The drive to Molly Butler’s was about 5 minutes. Having the all inclusive package plan was wonderful. We didn’t have to worry about dinner or breakfast plans.

At the lodge ready for dinner.

Trying hard to pick a dessert, they all looked fabulous!

Our Elf Sprinkles and 3 very excited kids. Everyone was incredibly friendly! Even the chefs would walk by and ask the kids if they were excited to meet Santa.

We are finally on our way on the Candy Cane Express!

We sang a few Christmas songs, said the magic words to get through the tunnel to the North Pole, saw many large Elk. It was a great ride!

Sparkle the Elf

One Excited Boy

Hard to see in this photo – but we went right by where the reindeer sleep and there was a red light coming from Rudolph and Dasher’s area! All of the kids on board were full of excitement when they saw this!

THE DOOR! The door that they had to do the magic knock that allowed Santa’s new Elves into the workshop!

Sprinkles telling them all about what waited for them inside.

After we went through the museum of toys, we were met by one of the head elf’s Alabaster who told us all about Santa’s favorite word. Can you guess what it is? Enthusiasm! The kids had to have a lot of enthusiasm to help all the elves make toys for Santa’s big night!

Santa’s personal work station

Cute workshop decor

The work shop with busy elves!

Seriously 11 days? Wow, the big day will be here before we know it!

When we walked into the workshop it was toasty warm thanks to this amazing fireplace. It also smelled like nothing I have ever experienced. Freshly baked cookies, gingerbread, cinnamon and fresh pine trees – it’s so hard to describe – it was amazing and just how you would imagine Santa’s workshop to smell. Seriously I could have stayed there all night taking in that smell!

The workshop

The kids working hard to build toys with the Elves. All of the toys that the kids make are actually donated. Wow!

The workshop was decorated with perfection! Every detail had been thought out.

This was the wrapping corner and it was darling.

Santa’s bakery! The kids loved getting their cookies from here.

After the Teddy Bears were made, the main elf came over to inspect them. The kids loved the idea that they were helping Santa get ready for Christmas.

Dressing his bear

Great job kids!

Gingerbread girl

Hard work of making toys done, time for a yummy cookie and “Snowman Soup” (Hot Chocolate!)

The kids could hardly wait to get his cookies iced and sprinkled!

Enjoying the snack

He did too!

And what should before my wondering eyes should appear….Santa make a quick appearance to tell the kids Hello!

Finishing the yummies

After snack time, it was school time. We went into the Elves classroom to learn how to be a good elf. It was really cute!

The detail that each room had was darling. The old fashion school desks and chairs with the books. We loved looking around noticing all the touches!

Right outside the school room was Santa’s desk. He had lots of maps for planning his big night’s trip!

And his To Do list too!

After class, it was off to the Elves playroom.

And then meeting the big man himself. I learned after taking this photo that no personal photography was allowed. Whoops! But they took great, quality photos and will be emailing them to us soon. The elf taking the photos was very nice, patient and took several, making sure the photos were good. The cost for photos was $10.00 – if you’ve been the germy mall Santa you will know that this is a really good price. The process to see Santa was done great. Only one family was allowed in at a time, so you had Santa all to yourself, in a very quiet, quaint and cute atmosphere!

Almost time to head back to Molly Butler’s Lodge – Some photos with the Elves

Horrible photo, but as we loaded up to leave on the Candy Cane Express, Santa came out and waved goodbye to us. He threw kisses, etc. The kids loved it! Such a fun touch!

Back at the Lodge, Mrs. Claus was waiting with a warm fireplace going and lots of books for storytime!

This was the most amazing “Night Before Christmas” pop up book.

Mrs. Claus showing the kids the train that Santa gave her.

After story time, the kids got to color pictures for Santa

Good bye hugs for Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus was great.

Our beautiful view as we drove to the lodge for breakfast

Delicious food and really great service!

Breakfast time!

Filling up his tummy!

We had a wonderful experience!
Before I finish writing about our experience, I am compelled to share something that we witnessed during our trip. I’m the type of person that when I see someone go over and beyond or if we receive really great service, I always make an effort to call the establishment back and speak to the manager, letting them know about a particular employee or experience. I feel like managers only hear about the negative and the bad occurrences and more often than not these days, I feel customer service lacks in many industries. But what we experienced sitting in Molly Butler’s Lodge while we waited for our dinner hour needs to be noted. You, reading this blog, as potential customers of NPX and of Molly Butler’s Lodge, you should be aware that excellent customer awaits you.
As we sat near the fireplace in the lobby, unbeknownst to us, one of the owners, Allan Johnson came over and started putting more wood in the fireplace, getting the fire going. We ended up starting a conversation with him and learned that we happen to live in the same neighborhood back in town. He told us that he was on his way out of town, back to his home, when he came across a family of 6 who had lost control of their car about 45 minutes outside of Greer and was stranded. He had a long drive home ahead of him, but took the time to stop, load them all and their 3 large dogs in his car and drive him back to Molly Butler’s Lodge. He called them a tow truck, tied the dogs up on the porch, got the dogs water and told the staff to take care of whatever they needed. He was prepping the fire and was just about ready to head back out of town, now in the dark snowy night. But before he could leave, an elderly person traveling with the family had a major medical issue. We saw first hand his compassion for this family as he saw to it that they got what they needed. After everything had settled down for the family, he invited them all into eat and treated them all to dinner. All while chasing down one of their dogs who had gotten loose.  A good samaritan, who could have easily kept traveling home to his family, stopped and helped out a family who so tremendously needed help. He again could have left them with someone at the lodge and leave, but he did not. He saw to it that they were well cared for. It resulted in causing him to head home the following day. You do not see this every day in the business world and being a little fly on the wall watching it all play out, we were very impressed with not only how he helped the family, but he did it with true compassion.
Coupled with that type of service and add a little bit of Santa’s magic, The North Pole Experience is truly something that you should consider. It will be a wonderful family memory. There are currently many openings for this year and if you at all have the chance to make it to Greer before we ring in 2010, I highly recommend it. If this is something that intrigues you for next December, I have a sneaking suspicion that once the word gets out about how great this experience is for families that they will fill up rather quickly for 2010, so make sure you look into it soon.
On a side note, if you head to Greer for the NPX, make sure you take in other activities in the area. Sunrise is just down the way if you love to ski and we had the most wonderful experience with our first Sleigh Ride. Everywhere you looked it was blanketed with snow and we just so happened to take our ride when it was snowing. It doesn’t get much better than that. This trip most definitely got us in the Christmas Spirit. Merry Christmas!

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