One of the things that really gets me into the Christmas spirit, is making my annual video message to Freddy from Santa using the Portable North Pole website. It is always such a magical moment, playing the personalised message for my son Freddy, seeing the wonder in his eyes knowing that he still has that total belief in Father Christmas. The videos are truly heartwarming, engaging and expertly crafted, delivering surprises and fun as Santa delivers his personal message.
There are both free and premium videos available to make on the PNP site or app. The free video comes with five points of personalisation, whereas there are up to sixteen personalisations, including up to five photographs and a choice of storylines with the premium service. You can make videos for children, but even adults can get in on the fun with some cheekier grown-up options available to send.
Santa has a personal message for children whether they are on his naughty or nice list. In fact, the video message can help encourage better behaviour with children eager to make it on to and stay on Santa's list of good boys and girls. It's a handy little incentive in the run up to Christmas, where a timely reminder about Santa's elves watching them, can prompt some best behaviour from little ones. Santa gives praise and encouragement to children for their efforts, which positively reinforces their good behaviour, and delivers a naughty or nice verdict at the end of the video.
We are trying out one of the premium Gold Pass Bundles from PNP, which is worth £10.99. For this price you can make unlimited premium video messages and phone calls from Santa until January 2016. You also get HD video downloads and access to any archived PNP videos. (If you are quick, PNP fans can get a pre-season Gold Pass for £9.99 available for a limited time only.)
This year there are seven festive video storylines to choose from:
Visit an Elf House
Tour the Post Office
A Song Just for You
Each lasts 5 minutes (except the Christmas Eve one, which is 2 minutes long, as Santa is super busy on that day!) Each can be personalised, which is really fun to do, and includes your child's name and photos and other details, to make a unique and magical video for a child. With beautiful settings, cute elves and of course a traditional Santa, the videos are a real joy to watch.
Also with the premium Gold Pass you can receive unlimited phone calls from Santa. These are so much fun and are really effective. There are lots of themes to choose from, such as receiving congratulations for working hard at school or making effort to improve, to gentle warnings about fighting or arguing to try and kerb behaviour that could find a child on Santa's naughty list. There are also phone calls to keep a child up to date on Christmas Eve progress reminding them to put out cookies or giving them a live update from the sleigh. These interactive phone calls really do add to the magic of the season, especially as Santa speaks to the child by name.
My favourite thing about the PNP premium Gold Pass is that I can use the videos and phone calls in the weeks before Christmas Day to build excitement and keep the magic of Christmas alive. Each five minute video is different, bringing some new excitement from the North Pole and allowing Freddy to explore something new with Santa and his elves. Freddy really loved the video I made him last year, so I imagine he is going to thoroughly enjoy watching the premium video messages and taking phonecalls from Santa over this festive season. You can make videos for any number of recipients with the unlimited pass so friends and family can also get a personalised message from Santa, shared via Facebook or by email. So much better than a card!
The PNP Children's hospital Program donates 5% of purchases to children's hospitals around the world, including four in the UK, so buying PNP premium videos will help other children. Over $100,000 has been donated to date.
To find out more about the different PNP services and products available and to purchase premium videos, calls or unlimited passes visit www.portablenorthpole.com.
The free video message service will be available online later this month. Premium videos will be available to view online until June 2016 after which they will be archived and phone calls will stay available for 365 days.