It was with trembling hands and bated breath that I opened the travel-worn vellum envelope postmarked the North Pole….Yes!! I had been sent the top-secret recipe for Magic Reindeer Food; the scent and sparkle of which can be seen from the skies as Rudolf and his friends wend their weary way around the world on Christmas Eve. If you want to be sure of a visit from the great man himself during Christmas night, then catching the eye of his reindeer can only help increase the chances, especially if – like me – you have not managed to be good quite all of the time this year…. The lovely Mrs Claus is a fortunately a forgiving and generous soul, and has shared the recipe with me on condition that I share it only with you, and that none of us tell Mr Claus.
I’ve included two options for making these; a use-it-and-keep-it drawstring bag that will be a small labour of love for your own children, grandchildren or those very special young believers in your life, and a simple paper bag version for mass production for school Christmas fairs or parties (below)
In her letter, Mrs Claus explains that – somewhat surprisingly – Rudolph, Dancer and chums have a particular soft spot for sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, preferably all mixed up together. In short; birdseed mix. Who knew?? Add a dash of sparkling glitter and they are in heaven. Or more importantly; in your back garden, quick as a shot. I used a conventional birdseed mix and Martha’s tinsel glitter, which has bigger flecks. I’m assured that should any birds or wildlife get to your sparkly reindeer food ahead of Rudolph, the glitter will pass harmlessly through them or be ignored altogether.
For the special sack itself, which I will give to Harry at dusk on Christmas Eve, I used a simple bouquet garni sack (sold in packs quite cheaply at foodie shops), and rethreaded it with red thread, to which I tied a pair of festive jingle bells. I added a label – PDF attached below - and glued it to a scrap of leather before stitching in place.
I stealthily borrowed a little wooden scoop from Harry’s play shop and hey-presto! his reindeer food looks like it might just have been sent special delivery from the North Pole itself.
To mass produce these as I’ve done for Harry’s nursery party, I simply stuck labels on mini paper bag, added (sealed!) baggies of reindeer food and clipped shut with a little silver peg. The printable below has a sheet of the labels I created for these, so do download and have a go if you’re making these in quantity.
Now onto other festive preparations and a couple of websites for you to check out; these may be familiar, but if – like me – you’re still relatively new to the world of doing-Christmas-for-children, then they might be a source of new delight… At PortableNorthPole you can get Santa to record a (free!) video message for your child, which is beautifully done and awesomely real. Harry received his last night (via email), and was astonished to discover that Santa knew not only exactly where he lived and what he wanted for Christmas, but also that he had been asked to try really hard to remember to brush his teeth before bedtime and that he was doing – mostly – very well. You can upload photos and lots of details and if you haven’t done this, I urge you to click and explore – we love it. I should add that it’s not just for kids; I sent one last year to a girlfriend, who witnessed Santa opening his special book to find a compromising photo of her, post-Tequila slammers, and received a sorrowful warning from him that she had better stop being naughty if she wanted a visit this year. So, fun for all…
Finally, one to bookmark for Christmas Eve is NORAD – the multi-langauge site of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which tracks Santa’s progress through the skies on 24th December. There is nothing more exciting than going to bed knowing that Father Christmas is due to enter the skies above your bedroom in approximately 3hrs and 42 minutes…
We’re creating kitchen chaos this week with some homemade gifts and festive projects – more news later this week!