Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve night is an intrinsic part of Christmas for many kids, so what could be better than a custom video just for them from the big man himself? Portable North Pole allows adults to create highly personalized videos in which Santa appears to talk directly to a child in the run-up to the big day.
There are three tiers of videos (and pricing) available at Portable North Pole. The first tier is the free videos. These are available to everyone and include very basic personalization. Four different free videos are available, one for kids, one for adults (which includes many funny options for adults on both the nice and naughty lists), and one for large groups–ideal for school classes or Scout troops. The final free video is a birthday greeting from Santa available all year round. However, it’s when you get to the paid options that the true magic of Portable North Pole is revealed.
This Christmas, there are six premium videos to choose from:
- Your Big Book – Santa shows the child his magical book which records events in their life.
- The Elves Magic Door – We see how the elves visit us in the run-up to Christmas.
- The Wrapping Machine – The elves show off their gigantic wrapping machine.
- Your Special Gift is Ready – Santa reveals that a specific gift is ready for the child.
- Christmas Eve – A special video where we see Santa set off for his flight around the world.
- A Birthday Party Just For You!
These videos allow you to add a wealth of personal options beginning with the child’s name, their friends and families names, photos, gifts they would like for Christmas, events from throughout the year, and much more. They also allow you to have Santa talk about what the child has been asked to do this year, such as cleaning their teeth better, trying hard with homework, or vaguer options like listening to their parents.
Each personalized video ends with Santa checking whether or not the child has made it onto the nice list. There are three options for creators to pick from, naughty, nice, or somewhere in between. “Nice” children are cheered by Santa and his elves while children on the “naughty” and “maybe” lists receive kindly encouragement to try a little harder because there is still time to make it onto the nice list. The gentle nature of Santa’s message makes this ideal for encouraging kids who have been misbehaving in the run-up to the holidays–apparently, this is every child at this time of year.
All the videos can be created on the Portable North Pole website or the PNP app, which is free to download. To give you an idea of what a finished PNP video looks like, I created two for Harry Potter. This is the “Your Big Book” option:
And this is the Christmas Eve video:
Magic Pass Stories
In addition to the personalized videos, if you purchase the Magic Pass, five different story videos are included:
- Christmas in Australia
- Christmas in Colombia
- Christmas in Iceland
- Christmas in England (from Dec 17th)
- Christmas in the United States (from Dec 24th)
The story videos include no personalization beyond the child’s name but show Santa reading a story to his elves about Christmas in the different countries. In my opinion, these videos are the weakest part of the site. The storytelling felt rushed and the rhyming was awkward and clumsy in many parts.
How to Watch Your Creations
Once created, the videos can be sent via e-mail to view on a computer or mobile device, or it can be watched on the Portable North Pole app.
To maintain the illusion of the videos being sent by Santa himself, the app is divided into a Kids Corner and a PIN controlled Parent’s Corner. Inside the Kids Corner there is nothing to show how the videos are being made, instead, there is a screen which allows kids to view their messages from Santa and several fun games including Santa sELFies (a bunch of fun photo filters) and talking elf and tree shaker games (both coming soon).
In the Parent’s Corner, adults can see a complete list of their video creations and control precisely which videos appear in the Kids Corner. The videos are stored in a cloud, so those created on the website can be viewed on mobile devices and vice versa. Initially, opening the app will always go to Kids Corner by default, so you don’t need to worry about your kids seeing something they shouldn’t if little fingers steal your phone while you’re munching a mince pie.
Pricing and a GeekMom Offer from Portable North Pole
There are three different pricing options for Portable North Pole.
- The Single Premium Video costs $4.99 and allows you to choose one of the six premium videos to make.
- The Video Pass costs $9.99 and allows you to make unlimited premium videos for a whole year. Ideal for parents with multiple children or for grandparents and other family members. This is the option I have chosen in previous years, spreading out one of each video option over the Christmas run-up.
- Magic Pass for $13.99 also provides unlimited premium videos for a year but adds in Reaction Recorder for mobile devices (the phone will use the forward facing camera to record your child’s face as they watch their video), HD downloads, and the five bedtime story videos.
5% of all sales from Portable North Pole is donated to children’s hospitals around the world.
GeekMom is happy to have teamed up with Portable North Pole this Christmas to offer our readers 20% off both Video or Magic Passes. To redeem this offer, click here for a Video Pass or here for a Magic Pass.
I have been using Portable North Pole for many years and I love how the videos have grown to offer ever more options and personalization. Even once my son has outgrown them, I know I will keep on using the site for younger members of our family, and I hope it still exists once it is time for any grandkids I may have are old enough to receive their own videos. The system brings an element of magic through technology to our home every year, and I hope it does the same for you.
GeekMom received access to this service for review purposes.