After having our first one last year, the kids’ North Pole Party quickly became one of their favourite nights of the year. There are little friends all in their jammies, out past their bedtime, under the glow of twinkle lights making reindeer food, hunting for treasure, little plates filled with cookies and milk.
Please note Billy’s pj upgrade to a Christmas Batman number. The kid is OBSESSED, you guys.
It’s a scene I take into the deepest parts of my heart: Where childhood enchantment takes over everything else. Where I feel ridiculously thankful to have them, to do this for them. Where normal life is suspended, for two sweet hours, as our friends huddle in our lounge room and forget about the bills they have to pay and the lawns they have to mow and instead focus on simply being together.
Welcome to our own little North Pole, right in the heart of 30 degree Brisbane, Australia summer.
We do it for the party — for the two hours of night magic — sure, but the prep? We do it for that, too.
Because anticipation is half the fun and my girl loves snipping up snowflakes and my boy loves cookie cutters and when I say those magical words, “Hey, do you wanna make gingerbread cookies?” they know it’s that time of year. “Yeah!” they yell, and it makes me happy. Ella helps with all the signs and crafts and setting the table and there is a happy little buzz for two days as we prep for a night they’ve come to love.
Party favours this year:
100ml spray bottles from Daiso, a pinch of salt, add 8 drops of lavender, 10 drops of peppermint, swirl around, fill with distilled water. Easy! Throw in some little Christmas chocolates and you have a stack of inexpensive party bags.
They were found again this year at the end of a treasure hunt when Santa (*cough* my brother *cough*) called on my phone and told the kids he’d sent some elves to hide some treasure for them. Hands down, my favourite part of the night.
They find Santa’s missing socks in trees, they jump on trampolines to find the next clue hidden high in tree branches; kids stampede all over our backyard, fall down, cry – it’s the kind of chaos I have come to deeply love. And then they come inside to make reindeer food and listen to Joel read them The Night Before Christmas.
And a scene I love so much: the end of the night with a few friends left, the house trashed, a couple of champagnes in, kids high on sugar and that giddy freedom of staying up waaaaay past their bedtime, tucking little ones into bed when they can no longer keep their eyes open, and me standing there taking it all in, feeling like there is nowhere else I’d rather be than right where I am.
To more joy this December. More being together. More saying yes. More happiness in being right where we are.