print 10

North Pole Party

It was a whirlwind weekend here, with holiday festivities that left our house a wee bit glitter-dusted, but the result was holiday magic. (sidenote: I will never bake another cookie again in my life.)

 photo print 1_zpsckmzzt63.jpg

Saturday evening kicked off our 7th Annual North Pole Party, a celebration that began years ago with nine kids and some Santa hats and has swelled, with time and more friendships, to a gathering of 36 little ones spanning from “first Christmas” to middle school, and a kitchen full of moms recalling this same celebration when their footie pajamas were much smaller.

 photo print 9_zpsfnl1bx1u.jpg

 photo print 8_zpsqzr9u86m.jpg

It’s one of my favorite nights of the year, and every year we celebrate this, the scene ignites this deep gratitude–the kind that almost takes my breath away–for this window of motherhood I feel so honored to enjoy.

 photo print 2_zpsyml7jv8n.jpg

We celebrate Mrs. Claus style–with cookies, milk and cocoa–and in our pajamas while the rest of the magic spins itself because that’s what happens when you bring kids and twinkle lights together.

With no further ado, some moments from our evening…

 photo print 3_zpsncai5gj2.jpg

 photo print 4_zpsv5fxnavn.jpg

 photo print 7_zpsh6uahpqc.jpg

 photo print 27_zpsipsa5wxu.jpg

 photo print 10_zpsooccrfks.jpg

Even Latte had Christmas pajamas.

 photo print 11_zpsrvi1oatx.jpg

 photo print 12_zpsf5zr0aaj.jpg

 photo print 13_zpsequwkwg0.jpg

 photo print 14_zpsdgtcsk43.jpg

 photo print 15_zpss1gkx3wj.jpg

 photo print 16_zpsm54pdjb4.jpg

Our reindeer food bar:

 photo print 17_zpsh8koci4h.jpg

 photo print 18_zpsn7a46gsa.jpg

Ornament making:

 photo print 19_zpsy3ncjvlt.jpg

And my dad’s reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this year, the Cajun version (my friend brought it from New Orleans)–it’s hilarious.

 photo print 20_zpszixuedwl.jpg

 photo print 21_zpsyjqnsyer.jpg

Each child brings a $10-15 gift to exchange with another child. In past years, this is the part where everyone laughs because it’s been a hot mess–trying to call out names without missing someone, matching gender/age appropriately, not having some kid end up with their own gift, etc. I finally got some sense and matched up names well before the party so everyone knew who they were buying for, and–praise the heavens–it went smoothly.

 photo print 22_zpsrfuype7i.jpg

Lainey’s happy with the babies which is exactly how I was when I was her age.

 photo print 23_zpscgj80hak.jpg

 photo print 24_zpshmf6uhuv.jpg

 photo print 25_zpstqoimwi0.jpg


From the archives, our North Pole parties of the past: Last year, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011,

Grateful for all these friends we love and another year of memories….

 photo print 26_zps3zg20gdv.jpg


Leave a Comment
  1. I look forward to your North Pole party every year! I only wish I had little ones and could join in the fun.

  2. Nella was about 6 weeks old when I first found your blog. Ingrid michaelson’s “Keep Breathing” was playing on your play list as I read and weeped, scrolling through Nella’s birth story. I felt like you were writing my own tender feelings about discovering my own sons birth defect, who was 5 at the time. I stayed up well into the night reading your whole blog, it was soothing to my soul, but also your creativity and zest for life amazed me. Wyatt is now almost 12, in a wheelchair, not able to communicate or do anything for himself…..and no doubt, it’s HARD. But such a special life. Cheers, we’re in this together. Xo, Bree

  3. Oh how I envy you! A house full of lots of laughter, great decorations, treats and friends! Do you realize how lucky you are to have such wonderful things around you?? This year we are so far away from everyone. We live in an apartment building that has a constant moving out/in of neighbors so we don’t know anyone. My husband is out working all the time and it’s just me &the kids. We have family spread across all over the place (in US, South America and Europe), the last time we all got together was when my first son was born (9 yrs ago). Hopefully when we all get together it’ll be just as beautiful as your North Pole party!

  4. For our neighborhood party gift exchange, ea parent buys and wraps gift for their own children and place it under the tree…makes matching up simple :-) Our party pales in comparison to yours though…Well done!

  5. I look forward to this post every year. I have little ones, but an extremely small house (and no partner), so I am never able to host something like this (though I so wish I could)! Your kids will remember these parties forever!

  6. LOVE!

  7. I’m so happy I found your site and also your book. It came at a time when I so needed it. I just finished going through each one of your North Pole parties…how special they are and what memories are being made. The video …I think it was for 2012’s party??? made me tear up. You are amazing!

  8. What beautiful memories you are creating! This makes me wish I had a bigger house to host more friends and families. Happy Holidays!
    Lovely photos!

  9. So freaking awesome! The expression on the faces of the kids…perfection. You continue to amaze me with your energy, creativity, planning, organization, decorating…I could go on & on. You are simply the best. Well done, Mama!!

  10. This is beautiful. Inspired by your parties, we hosted a holiday party this year, which turned out quite a hit with the kids. We had a tree, santa, paper snowflakes. Next year if we do one, will try out reindeer food stand as well as making ornaments :) Thanks for the inspiration! Our decor also was pretty- but nothing as pretty as this….can u share where you got the little christmas trees from. We had a friend dress as Santa- and kids loved it….but their favorite part was our reading christmas books to them! Really really thankful for inspiring us 😀

  11. You leave me speechless with your creativity and energy!

  12. Kelle, I look forward to your North Pole Party every year. So magical!

  13. Kirsten Thomas says:

    Kelle, where did you get all those tree decorations in different sizes all over the tables?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>