North Pole Party, Year 4

No matter how happy and content with life I may be years from now, I know I will look back at these pictures someday and ache to climb into them again–to feel all the twinkle and magic and warmth that’s also present and available to us when we’re 50 and 60 and 85 but that’s palpable in such immeasurable intensity when our kids are little. When their innocence and sense of wonder is so great, it trumps any skepticism, stress or sadness. When Santa hats are still a little big on their heads, three frosted cookies at a party aren’t met with thoughts of calories, and pajama drawers are full of footie sleepers with reindeer and snowmen prints.

Our fourth annual North Pole Party–this year celebrated with 23 kids and their mamas–was again a favorite night of the year where clearly the spotlight of the evening was these precious kids and the purest form of curiosity, enthusiasm, friendship and wonder, completely unbridled.

I cry when I look at these pictures and then it makes me sappy and then I write really gooey motherish things–a complete If You Give a Mouse a Cookie situation but the get-your-shit-together kind. So I’ll give you pictures and let them speak for themselves.

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Our reindeer food bar:

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Scavenger hunt for Santa’s lost items in our neighborhood–and another elf sighting this year:

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And inside for a reading of The Night Before Christmas and a present exchange. It’s my favorite part. It’s the part where, in one scene, you can see all of them and the magic is so present, there’s almost a haze.

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Santa (*cough*mybrother*cough*) called again this year (I thought to cover his name on my phone this time), and my face literally hurt from smiling–partly because his enthusiasm and ho-hos were so on point and partly because the kids’ faces were like paintings depicting childhood.

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The kids started raising their hands, wanting to say their own little something to Santa–“Santa, do you know my elf, Jeff?” (Oh! Ho ho ho, Jeff! Ho ho, yes! He’s a funny one, isn’t he? Ho ho!)–and they took turns coming up to the phone. It was magic.

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Thank you to Uncle Bubby who slipped out of a Christmas party to make that important call and managed to fool even my dad. “Who was that awesome Santa?” he asked at the end of the party. “That was your son.” My brother later texted, “I have to admit, I almost blew my cover laughing when one of the kids said his elf’s name was Jeff.”

We’ve swept up most of the glitter, and another year of memories has been tucked in its place.
Three mores sleeps, sweet babies. Three more sleeps.

Cheers to magic and friendship and wide-eyed wonder. Cheers to finding it and creating it.

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To see more North Pole Parties, here’s 2011, 2012 and 2013.

(and thank you to Heidi who took most of these pictures. We have a little friend photo pact–I take pics at her parties, she takes pics at mine).


Leave a Comment
  1. It’s all magic…such imagination and creativity. You’ve outdone yourself again! P.S. Hope Lainey doesn’t read your blog about who Santa was on the other end of the phone!!

  2. So much love.
    Three more sleeps, indeed. I love that.


  3. This is just magical. I have followed your blog for years now and I am always amazed at your ability to do so much and do it so well. You WILL look back at this time and yearn for just a taste of it again. Thank you for a glimpse into your world.

  4. I look forward to reading this post every year. It always makes me teary eyed. As a second grade teacher and mom of two young boys, I get to experience the magic of Christmas every year. Blessings to you and your family in 2015.

  5. Beyond adorable! I love your creativity :)

  6. I love this so much, Kelle. I am so glad your Dad could be there for it. I love that Santa called in. Spectacular. Merry Christmas!

  7. I could never EVER put into words how much I love this!!!

    Your DAD!!!! A million starry eyes for him. My dad passed away a few years ago on Boxing Day. I imagine if he were still here, he would be so wonderful with my girls.

    I’m typing with tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing this magic with us. Truly, THANK YOU!!! I know you make money off this space at times BUT I’m certain that this – THIS BEAUTY – is never motivated by clicks and traffic to your site. I love when you share you life with us.

  8. Love this party–you’re such a lovely inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement to create and enjoy magic and wonder and joy!

  9. These are so great! Thanks for sharing. Warms the heart.

  10. Oh how I wish I was a mother of young kids and your neighbor! I absolutely love you enthusiasm for the holidays and especially this party that you do every year.
    I didn’t see sweet little Nella in any of the photos. Hoping she was not sick and got to join in all the magic.

  11. Oh this post warmed my soul. I’m teary-eyed and all smiles over here! I also giggled at “Jeff.” What a great Elf name haha. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thanks for all the beautiful posts this year.

  12. You made my eyes leak with your pictures….the innocence of sweet children! Heart this!!

  13. I love this party and your post every year! It’s so magical!

  14. these are my favorite posts!!!!

    our elf’s name is jeff too!!!


    merry christmas <3

  15. I love this post! My kiddos no longer believe in Santa, they have aged out and it makes me so sad. But we are now free to be Santa for others and watching them begin GIVING is such a special thing. I have one tiny suggestion for you…covering your brothers name on your phone, if you think about it the morning OF the next party, edit his name to say Santa…just a thought. Merry Christmas!!

  16. I know how crazy and frazzled I get putting on my daughter’s birthday parties and they are never nearly as elaborate or with as many children as this. Please, please tell me that even though it’s all worth it in the end that you get crazy and frazzled at some point throughout the process of preparing! It will really make me feel a lot better. Merry Christmas, Hamptons!

  17. Next year change your brothers name on your phone to Santa Claus before the party begins. Then when it rings it says the call is coming from Santa. The next morning you can put it back.

  18. Like I say every year after reading this party post — you seriously have the best parties. Your kids (and their friends) will never forget those moments. They’re going to have the best stories — “Remember when we went to Lainey’s house for christmas that year.. and we saw an ELF!”

  19. My favorite annual post of yours!!

  20. I want to be a little kid again–and live in YOUR neighborhood! Magical, indeed! You are a wonderful hostess!

  21. Too cute. You’ve set the bar high Kelle….I predict many years of North Pole parties to come in your future! 😉 😉

  22. SO FUN! I am inspired to host something like this in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  23. @KelliG
    Ha. Yes. I’m human. And get a little snappy and huffy about an hour before party. We used to joke that Brett always picked 2 hours before party to clean the refrigerator, putting all the icky stuff out on the counter. And my head would spin. Thankfully, it gets easier every year for this one because we do the same things every year–and we have a lot of helping hands.

  24. I first came across your blog through your first North Pole Party, and it is still my favorite post of the year to see. Thank you for bringing so much joy to so many people. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

  25. I love these post too and OH THE PHOTOS! I always tear up at the excitement and the wonder! Can I come next year? (jokes) Bless you and your sweet family!!

  26. Oh my, I love your North pole parties! Love the magic you create! I LOVE the fact that everybody is standing outside in the pjs, around Christmas time! I am from the north, and have fallen in love with any place near the beach! I so want to spend a December in Florida! For now, your blog will have to do! Merry Christmas!

  27. Amazeballs…Period…

  28. I love it! I almost felt as if I was there. Great pictures, great environment..magical

  29. I look forward to this post every year! So special! Thanks for sharing :)

  30. Adorable! This definitely makes me wish my kids were little…if even just for one “Christmasy” night! Merry Christmas to you and your family ~

  31. Oh, I bet you are the coolest neighbor on your block. What a wonderful, wonderful night of memories!!!

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