For the Gutkowski’s, Christmas is a time when the snow, lights on the tree, and decorative houses give us feelings of peace, warmth and family merrymaking. It was the Christmas of 2012 when I received a frantic phone call from my sister in distress. She told me that my niece was acting out in a typical three-year-old manner, and that “time outs” weren’t helping.
Since I have a knack for drawing, she asked if I could create a Santa Claus picture with a letter talking about my niece’s behavior. So I sat down with my pencil and sketch pad, drew Santa, wrote a letter about her bad behavior and mentioned a few gifts she wanted for Christmas. If she wanted to receive all the presents she had asked for, she would have to earn them through good behavior! Though my niece was only three at the time, and couldn’t read, she was still THRILLED to receive (snail) mail addressed to her, and from none other than Santa! My sister told me my niece’s mouth dropped wide open when my sister read her the letter out loud.
“How does he know?!” my niece asked. My sister replied, “Santa is always watching.”
For years I continued on with the tradition of sending my niece letters from Santa; the man in the red suit even gave her the great news about her new siblings’ upcoming arrivals.
At the time, I was the owner of a franchise that specializes in teaching sports and fitness to kids. And as many teachers know, we need tools inside the classroom to encourage and reinforce good behavior. So I started experimenting with the “Santa is watching you” philosophy in my classrooms (when appropriate), and the results were fantastic! My students thought twice before acting out, and even when they slipped, they quickly realized it and apologized. It dawned on me that Santa had some amazing influence!
It was then that I envisioned the big picture with Santa playing the starring role.
In 2016, we launched North Pole Notes, born from my students’ and niece’s reactions and the idea that Santa could play a fun and effective role in improving children’s behavior. Snow or sunshine, who says Santa can’t be a part of the family all year?
If you’d like your kids to stay nice all year and not just when opening gifts under the tree, connect with us and allow Santa’s notes to put a smile on their faces and good behavior in their hearts!
When all through the house
A toddler was screaming
Acting just like a louse
All her toys tossed on the floor without care
Her mother was lost, consumed by despair,
“My child won’t listen or stay in her bed!”
“Timeouts won’t work! I need something better instead!”
Mama’s headache pounded, she dialed the phone in her lap,
When I finally did answer, Mama’s mouth started to flap!
Phone to my ear there was such a great chatter
As my sister explained the heart of the matter
When the call ended I raced to my pen in a dash
And drew a picture of jolly Santa on paper in a flash
I rang back my sister, my concept in tow,
She cheered and shouted while her excitement started to grow
“Each month in our mailbox a letter will appear?!
A personal note written by Santa to be perfectly clear!”
Teaching your children in a poem real quick,
Ways to improve their behavior, words from St. Nick.
My sister was elated “These cards really work!”
“Santa is watching!” I replied with a smirk.
A tradition was formed, North Pole Notes arose,
And it happily kept my niece and nephew on their toes.
The years flew by faster than a missile,
We knew it was time to make these cards official.
That’s why we chose to make a fantastic website
To put Santa to work for all, so all can sleep tight.