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Free Wallpaper: Spring is Crawling Your Way

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While it’s still quite chilly for some of us, the first signs of spring are starting to show in the Northern Hemisphere. Whether it’s daffodils beginning to bloom, fuzzy caterpillars inching along, or bluer skies with slightly longer days, the colors of springtime are slowly making an appearance. On a recent adventure, Raymond the reindeer befriended a not-so-creepy crawler who assured Raymond that spring is indeed on its way!

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

Enjoy this cute wallpaper from Northpole.com!

Free Wallpaper: Something Sweet for You

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we—along with Raymond the reindeer—wanted to send you our love. So we made this hearty wallpaper for you to download on your desktop, laptop, or tablet. Something this sweet shouldn’t be kept to yourself—share the love and send this wallpaper to a friend!

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

Enjoy this sweet wallpaper from Northpole.com!

Free Wallpaper: A New Year, A New Beginning

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The weeks leading up to Christmas are always so busy that after the big day, we elves like to wind down and rest. Now that we’re catching up on post-holiday to-dos, we’re happy to give you this wallpaper featuring Raymond the reindeer. We hope that 2017 is off to a good start for you and brings you much happiness!

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

Enjoy this glimmering wallpaper from Northpole.com!

Merry Christmas to You!

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Christmas 2016

It’s Christmas—huzzah! :D

We hope that each and every one of you are having a fabulous Christmas. All of us up here at the North Pole are enjoying spending time together and eating lots of cookies.

We wanted to take this moment to say thanks to our corporate sponsors who have helped tremendously with the cost of developing and maintaining northpole.com. So, thank you very much to our Diamond Deck-the-Halls Sponsor, RTI, Inc., and our Platinum Poinsettia Sponsor, SimTrain! (Interested in sponsoring Northpole.com? Click here for more information.)

Also, thanks go out to YOU for spending part of your Christmas with us! We appreciate every single one of our visitors, and we are so happy that you came to visit Santa’s Secret Village. We do hope that you’ll spend part of next Christmas with us as well.

So, tell me… What was your favourite Christmas memory this year? Did you spend time with loved ones, try a new yummy recipe, go sledding with friends? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy the rest of Christmas Day, and from all of us at northpole.com, we wish you a very happy and healthy 2017!

Etsy Item of the Day: Bassets Under the Mistletoe Christmas Card

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After the adorable, festive videos and photos I posted earlier today, I have bassets on the brain. Although—let’s be honest—when do I not? Of course I adore this sweet Christmas card featuring two basset hounds under the mistletoe. This card does leave me wondering one thing: When doggies meet up under the mistletoe, do they slurp or sniff each other?
Bassets Under the Mistletoe Card

Etsy Seller: Beagle n Thread

One More Sleep Until Christmas!

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Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you are finished shopping, wrapping, and baking—and are now ready for some merrymaking! Today I will be spending time with my husband, my basset hound, my parents, and their 2 bassets. In honour of the furry, festive fun, I thought I’d share some adorable doggie videos and photos to put a smile on your face and help you pass the time while you count down the minutes until Santa arrives ;)

Dashing through the snow is hard #holidayworkoutplan #bringonthefeast #idratherbesleeping

A photo posted by Hank The Basset (@hankthebasset) on

A photo posted by Loki & Friends (@corgistagram) on

short legs and deep snow is a tough combination. ❄️

A video posted by Dean (@deanthebasset) on

A photo posted by Pip & her hounds (@philpush) on

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Deer Gift Tags

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Can you believe that the big day is almost here? If you still have a few things to wrap, then these printable gift tags will come in handy. After you complete your purchase, you’ll be able to download the file and print these To/From tags in a flash from the comfort of your own home. They’d look rather professional printed on sticker paper or cardstock, but if you’re in a pinch, regular paper will do just fine.
Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Deer Christmas Tags • Inglish Digi Design

Etsy Seller: Inglish Digi Design

Easily Donate to Goodwill through Give Back Box

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Amazon & Give Back Box
Image: Amazon

How many of you do a lot of holiday shopping online? If you have boxes from Amazon or other retailers piling up at your home, wait a moment before you simply toss those boxes into the recycling bin. With the Give Back Box platform, you can fill a box with items for donation, print a prepaid shipping label, and then ship the items to your nearest Goodwill. Donating unwanted items has never been so easy!

Participating retailers include:

Etsy Item of the Day: Georgia Highway Christmas Ornament

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Raymond and I had such a wonderful time during our trip down to Atlanta, seeing the sights and eating various local treats. This Georgia highway Christmas ornament show that all roads lead to Atlanta! Laser cut from birch plywood, this ornament is delicate and would make a nice gift for the Georgia peach in your life. [Psst… Looking for another state? Maplanta has highway ornaments for all 50 states.]
Georgia Highway Christmas Ornament from Maplanta

Etsy Seller: Maplanta

Raymond Around the World: Atlanta

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So far this year I’ve told you about Raymond and me checking out the holiday decorations at the Opryland Resort and the two of us eating our way around Italy, as well as Raymond’s adventures in China with a friend of the elves. Our other voyage this year was in October when Raymond and I travelled down to Atlanta, Georgia. Previously we went to this southern US capital solely to catch a baseball game, and Raymond requested that we go back to see more of the city.

When we arrived in Atlanta, we were pretty tired, so Raymond and I took a nap. When we woke up, it was 3am—darn jet lag! Our tummies were rumbling, and we knew just where to go. With more than 100 locations in Atlanta alone and open 24 hours, we headed to none other than Waffle House. When in Atlanta, where else would you eat in the middle of the night, right?

Waffle House
Raymond perusing the giant menu

There we shared a waffle, eggs, and hashbrowns that were scattered, smothered, and covered, which is Waffle House talk for hashbrowns that include sautéed onions and cheese.

Waffle House
Scattered, smothered, and covered

Well-rested the next day, Raymond and I set out to explore. We had heard about something called the Big Chicken, which locals actually use as a landmark when giving directions. We were rather curious, so we had to check it out, even though it’s in the suburbs. Standing more than 17 meters tall, it is indeed a big chicken!

The Big Chicken
Yup, that is a big chicken

Curiosity satisfied, we headed back ITP ["inside the Perimeter," which is the ring road around Atlanta] for a bit of history. Thankfully the clouds had parted when we went to view a sculpture titled Homage to King. Atlanta is Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown, and this simple, yet lovely steel sculpture honouring MLK overlooks the city.

Homage to King in Atlanta
In front of Homage to King

From there it was a short walk to the Jackson Street Bridge where we were treated to the quintessential view of the Atlanta skyline. The cityscape from this spot was really fantastic. If Raymond and I ever travel to Atlanta again, we’ll definitely have to go back to this bridge for the sunset!

Raymond in Atlanta
Raymond in ATL
Raymond in Atlanta
Enjoying the view of the Atlanta skyline

Next Raymond and I decided we wanted lunch, so we went to Ponce City Market, a huge mixed-use development that was originally a Sears, Roebuck and Co. building when it was built 90 years ago. Nowadays Ponce City Market features a food hall, shops, event space, and even a carnival-esque park on the roof.

Ponce City Market
Raymond in front of Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market
About to enter Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market
Some wayfaring signage at Ponce City Market that is also good life advice

We filled up on yummy salads from one of the food hall vendors, then we wandered outside to go for a walk on the BeltLine. This former railway corridor has evolved into a multi-use path, and the eastside trail runs right beside Ponce City Market. It was the perfect place for a post-lunch stroll as the sun beamed down on us.

Atlanta BeltLine
Hoofin’ it along the BeltLine

As we walked along the BeltLine, Raymond and I noticed that there is a lot of art dotting the trail. We learned that Art on the Atlanta BeltLine is a juried, public art exhibition, so the art changes each year. What a great idea to incorporate temporary art amongst the urban and natural beauty of the BeltLine itself! We enjoyed looking at the different murals and sculptures as we made our way down the path.

Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
Art on the Atlanta BeltLine

When we were walking back to Ponce City Market, we came across a small door. [Raymond knocked, but no one answered.] Turns out that there are a number of tiny doors all around Atlanta! Next time Raymond and I visit Atlanta, we might have to go on a mission to find all of them.

Tiny Doors ATL
Anybody home?

After our walk, Raymond and I were ready for a snack. What can I say—we like to try local grub when we travel. We went to The Varsity, the iconic restaurant that perches above the Connector [the freeway that runs through Atlanta].

The Varsity in Atlanta
At the iconic Varsity
The Varsity in Atlanta
What’ll ya have?
The Varsity in Atlanta
Learning about the history of the Varsity

We were impressed to find out that The Varsity is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. When we walked in, we understood why The Varsity has this honour, as the space is absolutely massive. Welcomed by the traditional “What’ll ya have?” greeting, we ordered a Frosted Orange, which tastes like a creamsicle. In between a milkshake and a slushie, Raymond and I agreed that the Frosted Orange was a tasty treat.

Frosted Orange at The Varsity
Mmm… orangey goodness

The next morning before we left Atlanta, Raymond and I stopped by Sublime Doughnuts. Sublime has quite the variety of flavours, such as Fresh Strawberry ‘N Cream, Orange Dream Star, Salt & Vinegar, and much more. We opted to order an A-Town Cream, which was fabulous. Since Sublime is open 24 hours, it’s probably good that Raymond and I don’t live near it ;)

Sublime Doughnuts
24-hour doughnuts? Dangerous!
Sublime Doughnuts
So many delicious options
Sublime Doughnuts A-Town Cream
Raymond impatiently waiting to eat his A-Town Cream

Overall Raymond and I had a fun [and yummy] time in Atlanta. Where should Raymond visit next year? Let us know in the comments!

Raymond in Atlanta
Merry Christmas from ATL!
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