The Bell still rings for those who truly Believe …

This morning the pavements are glistening with an early morning winter frost, the sun is shining in a brilliant blue sky and the air is crisp and cold. It is December 1st and Christmas FM is booming in my headphones as I walk through the park.  

I’m transported back to the kitchen table of my childhood watching my Mom make Christmas cake. The kitchen warm and cozy, the sitting room lit up with Christmas lights and a fire burning with flames flickering and curling up the chimney breast.




Creating Childhood Memories

After watching the Polar Express Movie a few years ago I decided to create an everlasting memory for my Children based around the messages within this movie, Believe in mystery and magic. Believe in the strength of the human spirit. Believe in you. 

…..and so this is how my annual Polar Express Movie Night was born.

A night to rejoice and celebrate the innocence of children, the joy of childhood, the love of family, the belief in something bigger than ourselves and a reminder to celebrate the greatest gift of life.

The gift of  love.



I love watching the faces of my young nieces and nephew light up on entering the house. All decked out in their Christmas PJs, full of love, joy and anticipation. Jumping excitedly and gasping in awe at the twinkling lights, the large pot of hot chocolate on the stove, the large array of festive treats and the little bells lined out on the table signifying hope and belief. 

Eyes wide as they watch the little train on the table rumbling around the tracks, whistling every few seconds and passing through a candy cane marshmallow landscape.Their bright wide smiles make my heart melt and it is at that very moment I realise that this is what Christmas is truly about.


polar express movie night


Magic Sleeping Potion 

This fantastic idea is taken from TheChangeableTableblogspot.com and it is an absolute winner! A magic sleeping potion for Christmas Eve which helps children fall into a deep slumber while they await the arrival of Santa Claus.

This idea brought yelps of excitement!.I sit on the couch with all the kiddies and read the poem below and it is the most magical part of the night as they hang on every word I say. 

For each magic potion you require the following:

A paper coffee cup with lid

An individual sachet of hot chocolate

A large marshmallow or a handful of smaller marshmallows 

A candy cane

A chocolate bell ( you can usually buy a large bag of these quite cheaply) 

A Christmas sticker and tag 

A cellophane bag

Take your paper cup and sit it on the lid, attach a Christmas sticker of choice to the front of your cup. Pop the chocolate sachet, the chocolate bell, the candy stick and a marshmallow into the cup, place in the cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon and tag, Give each child their individual magic potion together with a copy of the poem below and watch the excitement brew! 



Bag Of Treats

The party bag may be the singular most important item in a child’s eyes so invest a little time organising these.

Each bag includes a letter to Santa Pack, a Selection box and a little Bell ( all purchased cheaply in Dealz and Lidl)

I advise the children to pop their magic potion into their party bag together with any treats they choose to take home (Stops them eating too much candy on the night and avoids tummy aches! )


Polar Express movie night

polar express movie nightchristmas Tree Polar Express party


Marshmallow Treats On a Stick

These are child’s play. Just two ingredients:

  1. A packet of large marshmallows ( I use the giant American ones)
  2. Chocolate (white or milk), melted  

Dip the top of the marshmallows in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles.

Stick a cake pop stick into the center of each mallow (see pic below) before it fully sets. I usually pop in the fridge to set the chocolate a little bit before I put the sticks into them, and that’s it! Couldn’t be easier!

Pop into individual cellophane bags once the chocolate is fully set and tie with a ribbon.  

Link to pop sticks is here.


polar express movie night


Snowman Fairy Cakes 

Always a winner with children! Iced with vanilla icing and topped with Christmas themed snowmen candy. How cute are these!

Link to a recipe for fairy cakes is here. An all in one recipe made in minutes! Check it out!

I bought the snowmen toppers in HomeStore and more in Dublin last year but sadly they are not in stock this year,

I’ve attached links to some lovely themed cupcake toppers below however that children would love.



Christmas Cupcake Topper Links: 

Magical winter Toppers,

Bauble Toppers,

Pudding Toppers

Christmas mix 




Here’s a selection of lovely cupcake cases too!

From Decobake :


Winter friends 

From Homestore and More : 

Reindeer and North Pole



Wilton Northpole 100 Mini Cupcake CasesReindeer Red 75 Cupcake Cases


Hot Chocolate Teacup Treats


1 bag of mini marshmallows

1 bag of large marshmallows 

2 bars of white chocolate (melted) or you can use candy melts too

1 packet of shortbread biscuits 

Christmas sprinkles (optional) 

1 pack of mini candy canes 


Push candy canes into the side of the marshmallows to resemble a handle on a teacup (see below) 

Melt white chocolate and put a little on top of each mallow. Place mini marshmallows on top. Allow to set. 

Cover the top of the shortbread cookies in white melted chocolate and sit a large marshmallow on top. Allow to set 



marshmallow hot chocolate biscuits



Nutella Hot Chocolate


Polar Express Night MUST include Hot Chocolate! There is a wonderful scene in the movie where Hot Chocolate is brought through the train carriages and this is the perfect time to hit pause and bring out this delicious warming treat.

I always use Cadbury’s Hot chocolate and just add a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella stirred through it. You get a delicious hazelnut  hit and it’s a real winner. Top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows and a candy cane. 

Disposable paper cups with lids are great for little ones as spills are inevitable in all the excitement and make sure the chocolate is only lukewarm! 







Christmas Snowball Cocktail For the Adults


I LOVE these old fashioned simple cocktails. They are like grown up Ice Cream and only require two ingredients!

Per drink you will need:

60ml Warninks advocaat


Pour advocaat into a high ball glass, add ice (lots of it ) top with lemonade, stir and enjoy! (I like mine in a cocktail glass but it’s traditionally served in a hi ball glass to allow for lots of ice and it works better this way) 



Christmas Pudding

My Christmas pudding takes pride of place. A family recipe that I got from my late Mother in Law ensuring a little piece of her graces the table on this night. 

These nights are all about family, love and traditions so it’s good to remember those who have passed but who are still present in our hearts.



Whatever God you worship, whatever religion you practice and whatever way you celebrate the Holiday Season remember that our time on this beautiful planet should be filled with love and respect for our fellow human beings. 

This is the only religion we require. 

Happy Holidays everyone! May you find Peace, Joy and Love. 

….and remember, it’s not what’s under the tree at Christmas, it’s whose around it.

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