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portablenorthpole.tv

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9 Reviews

A site where you can have santa make a personalised video message for your child

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      21.12.2010 21:28
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      A wonderful way to start the Christmas season

      It's that magical time of year again; time to create special memories and share happiness with loved ones. The little extras make all the difference, small things that give people a smile mean so much more. The build up to Christmas sets the tone, and the excitement that is to follow. All the fun on the lead up to Christmas makes it even more magical, especially where children are concerned. I like to send e-cards and anything I can find to my family, as I think these are lovely to receive. I was delighted when I came across the Portable North Pole website where I could create a video message from Santa, how exciting!


      Last year I created a video for both of my children and for my partner too, as it all adds to the fun and magic. I'm sure it was going to raise a few smiles, and I was right, they all enjoyed their special videos. Now that Christmas is upon us once again, I duly went to Santa's console to create videos again for this year. I was so pleased with the video messages from last year, that I had actually remembered the site, and I was already excited to make videos for the family again this year.


      It is always nice to be able to send e-cards and the likes, and even better when they are free. You will be amazed to know that there is no charge with this service, you can create as many videos as you like, all completely FREE of charge. Now, that is good. The site has been updated since last year, and the videos have some new content. I wasn't expecting even more, however, I was happy to see that they have added a few extra features into the videos.


      ~*~Portable North Pole~*~

      The site interface is simple, which makes it easy to use. There is an introductory video, and a choice of three options, you can either select to create a video for toddlers (0-3 years), which will be a shorter message, just long enough to capture their attention and hold their interest.

      The next option is for children (3+), which is a bit different and is slightly longer. The videos that are specifically for children are just the right length; they are slightly longer than the toddler videos, as they feature an extra trip to another location, for example your child can learn how reindeer fly. You are also asked what special effort your child has made in the year, and Santa praises the child for their good efforts in whatever they have done, again these are predetermined answers, however, there is a good selection here. I like the fact that Santa acknowledges a child's efforts, as this makes them feel really good, and it also makes them believe that Santa knows everything! I think it is great that you can select the age group so that the video is suited to the particular age of the recipient.

      The final option is of course for adults of any age, as we all believe in Santa, this is a different version which is more suited to adults. The adult section provides you with three choices; you can either create a video especially for the love of your life, a family member, or a work college. The videos for adults are amusing, and very fitting.

      You can sign up to the site, and this gives you exclusive content. In addition to this, all of your videos are stored on the site, so you can go back to watch them time and time again. However, you are not obligated to sign up, as you can still create as many videos as you wish, and you can watch them from clicking through the link in the email that is sent out to you and the recipient.


      ~*~Creating a Video~*~

      You can create a personalised video message that is suited to the intended recipient, by filling in a few factual details about the individual, which will be used to create a special video for your chosen person. The names are pre-recorded, so if the recipient has an unusual name then it may not be on there. Other than that there are no other negatives about the site. Once you have filled in a few basic details about the receiver, you are then given the option of uploading a picture of the intended recipient, and in some cases you have the option of including a picture of yourself. The receiver will be thrilled to see their picture in Santa's special book, as he talks to them. This really makes the video personal, and it makes it feel real. Then you go onto to give a few details about what they have done good, the options are predetermined, giving you a selection of choices. There seems to be a lot more options this year, and a few extra questions. However, it doesn't take long to fill in the details. You are given a few options on which location you would like to be included in the video, such as The Reindeer Training Centre. Once you have filled in the details you can then view them, and correct any mistakes if necessary. Once you have created your video, you can immediately view it to ensure that you are happy with the final product. Then you need to supply an email address of where you want it to be sent. Once the recipient receives their video message they can watch it on-line. The email can be saved, so that they can go back to view the video again, and I'm sure most children will want to watch them a few times.


      The videos are cleverly created, and they look amazing. Santa looks authentic, as do the surroundings, it all looks wonderful. You are drawn in as Santa talks to the individual as if he really knows them, talking to them by name which makes it even more magical. Santa opens his special magical book where the individual is featured. I think this is lovely for young children, as it will really make them feel very special. Santa also informs the recipient with what it is that they wish to receive. If you don't want to give away what your children are getting, then you will need to be a bit crafty here, so not to give away any surprises. I am astounding at the quality, and at how good these videos are, and each one is tailor made to suit the recipient. I had fun creating several videos, and watching them to choose the ones I preferred. There are several fields to fill out, I did find some a little irrelevant to my son, and I was pleased that I didn't need to fill in everything.


      I mainly take advantage of these sites for my son's benefit, as he is only three years old, so I try to make this season as magical and memorable for him as possible. Last year when I first sent the videos, my son sat on my lap, and he was enchanted as Santa called my son by name into his workshop to speak to him, he did look a bit bewildered, however, he was memorized and enjoyed watching the video again and again. It was lovely to see how much excitement it gave him, and even I enjoyed watching the video. We watched the videos that I created for my daughter and partner, and both seemed amused and equally as excited and jovial. It was a lovely feeling to watch the videos together and see the look on their faces, as Santa spoke to them, especially when Santa was not happy with my partner for being a naughty boy, oh dear. The special messages bought the magic of Christmas alive and starting the holidays in good spirit. I was keen to keep this as part of our Christmas tradition, and eagerly awaited the family to join together so we could enjoy the videos for this year. The special Santa messages had the same lovely reaction, and they were fully enjoyed, we have already watched them several times, and my son and I watch them each day. The videos are just the right length for my busy toddler, and he gets close up to the screen every time.


      I haven't given away too much, as I don't want to spoil the surprise, and you will be amazed when you watch the video for yourself.

      ~*~Hurry Santa is Waiting to talk to You~*~

      I would suggest making use of this site as soon as possible, as it can be slow during busy times, and this is especially true as the day draws closer, so don't waste any time, get over there, and have fun making videos, I'm sure you will be sending them to everyone you know.


      The personalised Christmas videos are a lovely way to start the Christmas traditions, as they create a magical feeling.

      Oh go on, send a Santa video to someone, you know they will love it!


      www.portablenorthpole.tv

      The videos will expire in time; however, there is an option of buying the video so that you can keep it. The videos are priced at $4.99 each if you wish to keep a copy, which is payable via credit card or PayPal.


      ~*~*Merry Christmas*~*~

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        21.12.2010 11:39
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        An excellent personal touch for christmas

        PortableNorthPole.tv
        (PNP)


        Its that time of the year again where magic is in the air for all young children (and lets be honest, us adults too!) and one thing in which all young children love is sending their Christmas letters off to father Christmas to let him know what they have asked for this year. So what better a reply than a video reply sent straight from the North Pole right to your email for your children to watch!

        And best of all, the whole thing is FREE!

        There are three options for making the video (or rather the information you send to the elves!!). Each video is different depending on the age of the recipient. The first option is for toddlers 0-3 years with a small message from Santa. The second option is for children three years and up and incorporates special moments for that child in the year including photos which are optional. The last one is for grown ups because we can not miss out!

        You need to add some personal details which differ depending on what option you have chosen. No personal details are asked and many details are optional such as childs favourite food and such. This information bulks out Santa's magical book and is fun for children to see that Santa knows them, though it is not necessary. Other information includes name, gender and if you wish, post code (though this did not work for me as I believe the site is American. The post code is for Santa to show the child they know where they live on his computer though this works with just country too.

        You are also able to choose whether the child (or adult) has been good or bad this year. I would assume no one would use the naughty option for children, though it may be fun for adults with some amusing options to choose from such as leaving the toilet seat up!

        You can add up to three photos in the child and adult sections (one in the toddler one). This adds that great personal touch to the video and children love seeing their photos in santas magical book.

        And now it is time to wrap up the video and sending it to your email or posting the link for others to see. You are able to buy the video to keep forever though I haven't gone down that line.

        The video itself is a good length and starts off with Santa at the chosen scene such as the Reindeer training centre, before going back to his office. Santa talks directly to the child, using his or her name (can sort out pronunciations when adding information). He shows the child where they live on the computer (if you have added that info) and then opens his magical book to reveal the photos, information and gift you have specified that your child has asked for (including optional photo).

        It is a really great quality video and very enjoyable to watch. Our little ones absolutely loved their personal messages straight from Santa and so did my other half!

        A perfect personal touch, completely FREE for a child or adult for Christmas. Fully Recommended!

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          08.12.2010 15:20
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          Make a child smile!

          Portablenorthpole - or the PNP communication console as its more widely known as now, helps you to create personalised messages for your children and other loved ones direct from Santa himself!

          I first used the console last year to create video messages from Santa from my children, and followed the PNP on Facebook to receive updates of when the console would be live again this year.
          It came back a few weeks ago, and I started to prepare making videos for my 3 daughters.

          This year they have made many improvements to the console - it is much more detailed, you can tailor it to age groups choosing toddlers, children or grown ups. The toddlers choice creates a shorter video, with a slightly longer one for children, and some cheeky options to create a video for adults.

          You are taken through steps, where you have mulitple choice questions to tailor the video to your needs, as well as being able to personalise it with your childs name and age, and a toy they are hoping to receive this Christmas. You also have the options to upload some photos, including 2 from different events that have occured during the year.

          Once you have completed, the video will load. You are greeted by Santa, who then looks through his big book to check on the childs progress during the year!
          The videos are simply stunning and magical, my daughters were spellbound and truly believed that Santa had sent all three of them their own video.

          You are also emailed your links to your videos, also have the oppurtunity to register for the PNP website, which is great as all your videos can then be stored in one place.

          It literally takes 5 minutes to create these brilliant videos, and the smile they put on my kids faces was just priceless!
          I also spent 5 minutes creating a slightly cheeky video for my husband which had us both laughing!!

          Also, the Santa in the videos, I have been informed today (by someone who went there last year!) is the same Santa that they have in the North Pole for Christmas holidays, so he is the real Santa ;)

          http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home

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            03.04.2010 23:14
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            A great freebie for the kids!!

            This might seem a very strange time to review a 'Christmas' website, but I have just been packing some old Dvd's together and came across one for this site, and I thought I'd check dooyoo to see if they had it on their database. I should have known they would have. Is there nothing that isn't reviewed on here!

            Okay I'll tell you briefly what it is all about. The site is offered free of charge and is aimed at grown ups, so they can make online clips for the children. All the grown up needs to do is add the childs name, sex, age, photo and what present they want, and the website program does the rest. In return you are left with an online clip of a few minutes with Father Christmas talking to the child. It also looks very professional.

            After I had made it, I then looked to see how I could transfer it onto a DVD. in the meantime I was telling everybody how good it was and that I was doing a dvd for my son. Then came the problem. The facility was not there to transfer it. I tried and tried and having worked in IT for more years than I care to remember I felt I could do it, but I couldn't. I contacted the company and they said it was something they hoped to add for next year.

            Unfortunately by this time I had promised so many people I'd do it, it became a full time obsession. The company didn't seem to have a problem with it. They were offering the service free and they were planning to add it, but next year was too late to the parents I'd already promised.

            Anyway after a good few days work tweaking the files etc I managed to convert the clip to DVD format, and it worked. The joy of it. My son was delighted. The parents I gave copies to said a quick thanks too. If only they knew how long it had taken me.

            Hopefully next year it will be a lot easier. Make a note in your diaries now:-)

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              15.12.2009 04:19
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              Thumbs up

              "portablenorthpole.tv" is a free to use video message generation website. The website was first launched in 2008 and has been a Holiday favourite for two consecutive years. Alexa traffic research states that it is the 47730th most accessed website in the world and receives nearly 42% of its users from the United Kingdom.

              This website has recently been making the rounds as a popular Internet gag within my social circle. It offers users the chance to send a personalized video as directed by the user and dictated by Father Christmas. The generation process is split into a total of five pages where users enter details regarding the recipient. The details include his or her name, age category, whether he or she has been naughty or nice, and a special gift they may be expecting. The user may upload a photo of the recipient to be placed within Santa's naughty and nice list. After the necessary fields have been filled in, a video is generated with the user's customizations and sent to the recipient's e-mail for later viewing. The user may also view his or her creation by clicking the "watch" button.

              PortableNorthPole.TV boasts high ease of use and accessibility. Most options are contained within drop down menus and radio buttons, and selecting these options will have Father Christmas say certain things within the video. Father Christmas begins his transmission from his home in the North Pole and voice overs are inserted as he continues his message to the recipient. I recently sent a video message to my girlfriend as a little rib and had her on his naughty list; stating she should have spent less time on Facebook and be extra nice to me to make up for it. The website contains a high number of modern day praises and criticisms which should satisfy most user's requirements.

              The load times are reasonable for a service such as this. According to independent tests, the website itself only requires 5.7 seconds to load 1.7 MB when using a broadband connection. As the generation process itself is slow and thoughtful I didn't immediately notice these slower speeds and personally felt the website was fast to load and respond. Videos themselves are a bit longer with an average speed of 15.43 seconds to load being recorded on my stopwatch.

              Overall, I've really enjoyed what PortableNorthPole.TV has to offer and have sent many of my friends a personalized message from Father Christmas. Most of the creations I've received in reply have me on Santa's naughty list but I suppose we can't all be angels!

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                14.12.2009 20:51
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                Brilliant!

                **2009 version**

                I first heard about Portable North Pole (or PNP) on this very site just a few days ago. Since then I have sent a message from Santa to my daughter, neice, nephew, partner and friend!

                Portable North Pole is a website that allows you to send FREE video messages from Santa Claus to friends and family.

                The website is very festive (red backdrop with milk, candycanes and bows etc) but simple. It is very easy to operate and should be easy for absolutley everybody to grasp.

                You are first greeted by a big screen in the middle of the homepage and a start button. Once you have clicked on the start button you can choose whether your message is for a toddler (under 3 years), child (3 years onwards), adult/teen who has been nice or adult/teen who has been naughty.

                You then need to enter the age, gender and country of the recipient. Next you need to choose what 'special effort' the recipient has made from a drop down list (Eg. Being good in school, being nice to brothers or sisters, going to bed when told) and enter what the recipient has asked for/will receive for christmas this year and choose which catagory that gift comes under from another drop down list (Eg. Doll, piece of jewellery, board game, games console). You need to also state the recipients eye and hair colour.

                If you choose to send the message to a child (over 3 years) you can also choose a secret to reveal about Santas life in the North Pole such as 'How do Santa's reindeer fly?' or 'How does Santa know who's been naughty and who's been nice?'.

                The questions and answers are slightly different for adult/teens - there are a couple of amusing reasons for being on Santas naughty list such as leaving the toilet seat up, pigging out on fast food, spending too much money on shoes and cursing.

                The last part is to upload a photo of the recipient. To finish you need to enter your name (so the recipient knows who sent them the message), your e-mail address (to get a copy of the message sent to you) and the recipitents e-mail address (to send the message to them). If you are sending a message to your own child then you should just use your own e-mail address.

                You can either watch the message automatically after you have made it or click on a link in the e-mail or visit the website where you can use the username and password which is sent to you in the e-mail.

                The message starts with a fuzzy screen and Santa addressing the recipient by name and explaining that there is a snow storm in the North Pole but his 'PNP' stands up to the worst weather conditions which means he can talk to them! Santa then reveals which country they are from (and shows them a map if you choose the child or teen/adult version). He then walks through his log cabin, into a different room and sits down in a wooden chair. He asks the recipient if they have been a good boy/girl this year and gets out a big book. He opens the book and the recipients photo appears with a tick in a box that says 'nice', along with their age, hair colour and eye colour. Santa then comments on their lovely hair colour, confirms their age and congratulates them on their special effort (and tells them to keep it up because Santa knows!). He then turns to another page in his book where he reveals what gift the recipient would like for christmas and says that he think it can be arranged, with a cheeky wink and a twinkle in his eye. If you have chosen to reveal a secret, Santa will reveal it now too. The message ends with Mrs Claus calling Santa and Santa telling the recipient it is time to go back to the workshop. Santa wraps things up by saying goodbye to the recipient personally and wishing them a merry christmas.

                The message looks and sounds totally real and convincing. The faint sound of 'Jingle Bells' can also be heard in the background. There are small gaps after Santa's questions for the recipient to answer out loud - my daughter has watched her message a number of times and still thinks he's talking to her live! Every child will be stunned and amazed when Santa speaks their name and opens his book to reveal their photo. My daughter has been trying really hard lately to go to bed when she is told, so when Santa told her well done for going to bed like a good girl she had the biggest smile on her face!

                The only disadvantages of the site are that Santa can only say select names - he could say my neice and nephews name, but he couldn't say but daughters name which was slightly disappointing. If your child has quite a popular name then there shouldn't be a problem. I would also check the message before you show it to your child to make sure that your stories match up - for example, you may have told your child how Santa's reindeer fly but Santa may give them a different explanation!

                Overall this is a brilliant, unique website that is magical for children (and fun for adults) and best of all - it's totally free!

                It could even work as a clever way to bribe (sorry, I mean convince!) a child into being good leading upto christmas or could erase all doubt that Santa isn't real in slightly older children.

                **2010 update**

                The 2010 PNP has just been launched and is as brilliant (if not better) than last year! There were a few technical issues with the site at first but that now seems to have been sorted.

                There are a few added extras in the 2010 version such as the recipient will be able to see 'The Reindeer Training Center', 'The Elves Secret Quaters Ice Hall' or 'The Santas Message Center'.

                You can now also add photos from throughout the year and a photo of what the recipient wants for Christmas! Santa appears to be able to say more names (you now type the name in rather than choose from a list) but doesn't appear to compliment the recipients hair colour (however it is still written in his book).

                I recommend to all!

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                  11.12.2009 10:31
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                  I'd thoroughly recommend it... fab!

                  I have a little niece who is only three years old so this is the first year she has really had any sort of understanding about Father Christmas and what Christmas is.

                  Because of this fact, I wanted to do something a bit different for her, apart from the usual gifts and Christmas cards that she usually gets from my partner and I.

                  I looked into how I could get her a personalised Christmas card sent out, or some sort of letter that could be sent to her from Father Christmas himself but to be honest I had left it a bit late in the day to organise anything being sent out to her and I felt that any efforts I made would be a bit half-hearted as a result.

                  After doing a little research online, I came across a website that promised to make an ALMOST personalised greeting to your loved ones, which could be easily viewed online, and was entirely free to create and send. This seemed - at first glance at least - to be a bit of an answer to what I had been looking for and with that I went online to create the video message from Santa!

                  The website can be found at www.portablenorthpole.tv.

                  I thought that the whole process sounded a bit too good to be true at first. The website was easy to navigate around, using a nice Christmassy backdrop to set the mood was a clever technique and was quite convincing at making me feel assured that the website was going to deliver what I was looking for.

                  When it comes to registering, you will be asked a series of questions about the recipient of the video. These are very simple and straightforward; first select whether the recipient is adult, teenager, toddler etc. The next few questions are about whether the recipient is male or female and what their relationship is to you.

                  After another few general questions about them such as their name and hair/eye colour, the hard part is over and the real fun can begin! I will point out though that entering all of the relevant information really only took me a few moments to complete which is obviously a huge bonus as things are always a bit hectic at this time of year!

                  There is a real fun element to this website and that is that you can choose whether the recipient has been naughty or nice - by selecting 'naughty' you have to give a few reasons why and these are selected from a drop-down menu. Obviously if sending a video message to an adult, it might be fun to select naughty and give a few cheeky reasons. If I was getting a message made for my other half for example, I could list endless reasons as to why Father Christmas should have him marked as 'naughty' and not just the two reasons as suggested on the website!

                  My video message was of course intended for a little girl so of course I made sure that Santa knew she had been good this year (by selecting the appropriate option) and had done well which was easily done by selecting two reasons as to why.

                  There is a question as to what the recipient has asked Santa to bring. As I know my little niece has asked for a doll's pram, I entered this as the gift. This then means that Santa can relay all the details on the video and all are correct. In this case, he knows that she has blonde hair and blue eyes. She knows her name - as it appears in Santa's book, alongside a tick in the appropriate box on the page to indicate to Santa that she has indeed been a good girl this year and so deserves the requests on her Christmas list. All of this is shown on-screen in the video, so there is no mistaking that Santa really does know everything he is supposed to!

                  I was so impressed with the service that I decided to make a second video message from Santa Claus to my sister. I went through the same procedure but this time inserted the two reasons that she had been good as being 'cutting down on eating chocolate' and 'trying to stop biting her nails' as this is a standing joke between my sister and I.

                  Santa makes no effort to hide who the message has been sent from, so in the case of my sister's video, he makes comments like 'your sister has contacted me and is very proud of how well you have been doing this year' kind of thing, so the recipient will know who has sent the message.

                  I am so happy that I found this website, particularly as it is so easy to use. I think it is a really superb idea and particularly for those of you who have little ones. What a special way to make a personalised greeting from Father Christmas himself, and it will only take you five minutes to set up!

                  I should also point out that there is an option to upload a photograph on the site, so that when Santa shows his book in the video, there will be a picture of the recipient alongside the details you have given. I chose not to do this but only because I do not have a photograph of my niece on my laptop, otherwise I think I probably would have, as it just adds an extra personalised touch.

                  There were one or two times that I clicked on the link to look back at my videos - when I wanted to let my other half see the one for our niece for example, and we couldn't get to see it because the website was under some sort of maintenance. To be honest though this only lasted for an hour or so and considering it is getting so close to Christmas now I would have expected a few problems like this. It is frustrating, but my sister managed to get her video the first time she tried and she was really impressed with the results. I haven't experienced these problems very much at all and so I wouldn't think the problem was a major one.

                  I cannot recommend this website enough. It is quick and VERY easy to use (if I can use it, anybody can!) and aside from that, it is a pretty unique way of sending a Christmas message. I would have been impressed with the results from the website if I had paid a fee for them but the fact that the videos are completely free is obviously a huge bonus. What better way to add a bit of magic to a young kiddie's Christmas day?

                  The last thing I will comment on is that the backdrop in the video is very authentic. Santa himself confirms that he is in the north pole and comments on the snow and suchlike, before showing us around his 'cabin'. There is really nothing I would change about the way the background has been portrayed as I think it is exactly the way that little ones would have imagined it to be, and that of course is the whole point.

                  I would give the Portable North Pole a snow-topped five Dooyoo stars, I cannot fault it at all and highly recommend it to you all.

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                    09.12.2009 21:14
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                    Excellent Christmas site

                    I discovered www.portablenorthpole.tv via the Moneysavingexpert.com website and this will certainly form part of our Christmas traditions from now on. The site is an excellent free resource for parents (and non-parents) who love the build-up to Christmas as it creates a personalised video message from Santa to the recipient of your choice!

                    Using the site is very simple and there are absolutely no fees or other 'catches' involved. You can choose whether to create a video message for a toddlers, child or an adult - the adult option is divided into 'naughty' and 'nice' individuals because Santa knows these things! There are specific steps to work through to create the video as you need to provide basic factual information about the child (or adult) including name, age, location (although this is only as specific as 'UK', for British residents, which was mistakenly spelled as United Kindom on the actual video!) You also select various other options to make each video message totally personal and relevant to the intended recipient. There is, for example, space to include a specific present that the child is looking forward to receiving from Santa and tasks that they have tried hard to complete throughout the year so that they can receive a little praise and acknowledgement from Santa. You also have the option of downloading a photo of the individual, which I wholeheartedly recommend doing as it is really the making of the video as the picture is incorporated into a page in Santa's special book.

                    Once you have worked through the steps, you need to supply an email address for the recipient as well as your own (although this can be the same address.) You can view the completed video message online immediately and the link is emailed as well, so you can go back and watch the message over and over as many times as you like (and believe me, you will want to watch it over and over as it is so cleverly put together.)

                    I couldn't be more impressed with the completed videos if I had paid hard cash for them. In fact, I am so surprised that there are no charges involved with this site, considering the exorbitant amount people are prepared to pay for a computer-generated 'personalised letter from Santa and suchlike. The toddler video is slightly shorter than the standard child's version, making it the perfect length for kids with a short attention span. Both types follow a similar format though and feature a satisfyingly authentic-looking Santa who really seems to be speaking to each child as if they were sitting in front of him and he knows all about them.

                    The speech has been really cleverly constructed, with the most popular children's names being pre-recorded so Santa really does talk to each child and refers to them by name. My boys both have fairly popular names, sadly more unusual names aren't actually spoken by Santa just referred to in his special book. The personalised book is by far the best feature of the video. Santa turns the pages in his book to reveal a page featuring your child's name and photo and the 'Nice' (rather than naughty) box ticked. My boys were both totally amazed by this magical book! At this point, Santa mentions the information already provided and this is very well incorporated in the conversation. My seven year old sat there with his mouth wide open at that point, totally aghast at the fact that Santa knew he had been trying to be nice to his brother. In the toddler version, Santa knew that my youngest has been trying to clean his teeth every night. His older brother was very impressed with Santa's knowledge there too and we all watched Santa's messages over and over again. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more though - my two boys or me!

                    Another popular feature was Santa's crafty little wink and the twinkle in his eye as he mentioned the toy that each child was looking forward to getting. I cheated a little here as I didn't actually want my oldest child to know exactly what Santa has bought him for Christmas yet and ruin the surprise! Santa did know what my youngest will be getting though and I think big brother is even more excited about his present than his own.

                    The only criticism that I can offer is over the reliability of the website itself. On my first attempts to create videos for my kids I struggled a little as the website itself kept crashing and freezing at various points, meaning it took a couple of attempts to create my first video. To be fair, this was shortly after the site had been heavily publicised on Moneysavingexpert, so I expect it had been totally overwhelmed! I went back the next day to create a toddler version for my youngest and the site functioned perfectly, although when I logged in again to show the completed message to the kids the site was down again! Just be aware that the site may be a little temperamental and avoid giving a big build-up to Santa's message, until you are certain that the site is working (which is exactly what I had done!)

                    Despite this minor hiccups with the site itself, I'm totally delighted with the end product and really couldn't recommend this site highly enough. I haven't even tried the adult version yet but the children's version really does bring the magic of Christmas alive.

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                      09.12.2009 13:10
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                      My daughter is six, and already beginning to doubt the existence of Santa. I think it's kind of sad that she is so sceptical so early, so I wanted to find a way to make her believe in Santa and all his magic a little bit longer .

                      It was a friend that recommended Portablenorthpole.tv to me. Essentially, it is a website where you enter a few details, such as the age of your child, what they want for christmas, and hair and eye colour, include a photo, and it comes up with a personalised video message from santa to your child .

                      The first thing you need to do is select the age of your child from four options Toddler, Child, Adult or Teenager that has been nice, or adult and teenager that has been naugty . Depending on the age you select, you'll have a few different questions to answer - none of which are difficult at all . At one point, you'll have the option to upload a photo of your child, and this is very simple to do .

                      I selected child as my daughters age, and then answered various questions, such as her sex, her name, the country we live in , what she wanted for christmas and what she wanted to know about santa . You could also say what special effort they had made to be good this year , and there were some nice choices here , such as being nice to particular people, or doing certain chores to help out . You'll then be able to confirm all the details, and the video will be available to play - the link will also be emailed to you so you can view it again at a later date .

                      My daughter loved her video - she loved that santa knew where she lived, and that he had a photo of her and knew she's been really good at brushing her teeth this year. She laughed at the video, and at certain points santa paused and gave her the chance to respond to a question.

                      Ayesha missed out a little, as santa didn't actually SAY her name, only had it written down in his book. This is a little bit of a shame, as she has an unusual names, but more common names he will actually say in the video. She watched her video 3 or four time, delighted that santa would take the time to talk just to her, and I've saved the link in case she wants to watch it again . You can see Ayeshas video from santa here :

                      http://tinyurl.com/yzo5ofb

                      I wanted to play around with the options for naughty adults too, as the idea amused me , so I decided to set one up for my brother. The options for things they did wrong greatly amused me, and I liked that there were options for sending this to all kinds of people - your boss, your mum, your next door neighbour . Martins video is here :

                      http://tinyurl.com/yzbm4oz

                      Overall, I think this is a nifty fun little site . It is easy to go through the process, and the site works quickly and efficiently. It's a great way to send a silly christmas greeting, and if you have children, a great way to extend their belief in santa a little while longer.Even better than this, it's free!

                      The sites address is http://portablenorthpole.tv/home, and I totally recommend it . 4 stars, deducting one for only the most common names being available to be spoken .

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