Merced County Times Newspaper
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Parents find way to grow Christmas tree with magic pinecone

Christmas on Canal is Friday night, Dec. 1!


Did you know Elves from the North Pole really do exist? 

They do, and if you can obtain a special magic pinecone, and put it in your Christmas tree stand, something incredible will happen overnight. 

Little ones will be amazed when they wake up to find a fully grown Christmas tree where the pinecone once was. 

That’s the concept — and basically a new Christmas tradition — developed by Daniel and Linsey Brown, who live in the El Nido area. These two very creative and thoughtful parents came up with the idea of the Magic North Pole Pinecone a few years ago. And now it’s a fun new gift idea that will surely add some Christmas magic to the homes of families near and far. 

It all started during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the growing Brown family was trying to stay upbeat during a period of tremendous stress and incredible change. 

“After our daughter was born in early 2020, the pandemic lockdowns made it a very strange year,” Daniel Brown told the Times. “Our two sons, 3 and 5 at the time, and too little to understand what was happening, had their little lives upended. Throughout the year, we looked for ways to bring excitement into the situation to distract them from the lack of normalcy. 

“In December of that year, they received a letter from Santa with a small packet of glitter. The letter explained that, since they had been such good brothers to their baby sister, they were receiving a special surprise from the North Pole. The letter instructed them to visit the local park with their dad to get a pine cone. When they returned home, they should place the pine cone in their Christmas tree stand and sprinkle the magic glitter over it and then go to bed.

“When they awoke the next morning, they found that a Christmas tree had ‘grown’ overnight. Overjoyed, the two boys couldn’t wait to tell their many young cousins about the experience. Soon, Linsey and I were filling requests for the magical experience for our family.”

A look at the new holiday product: The Magic North Pole Pinecone.

The excitement eventually developed into the more refined Magic Pinecone and Storybook thanks to Daniel Brown, who has has knack for inventing holiday products and marketing them. 

“I searched for a material that I could coat pine cones with that would smell like peppermint, fizz when placed in water, and release green glitter as part of the reaction,” Brown explained. “Nothing like that existed, so I began experimenting with different materials and, after a year of experimenting, I had my formula. When placed in water, The Magic North Pole Pinecone vigorously fizzes, releases green iridescent glitter into the water, and smells just like candy canes. The reaction time lasts for about 8 minutes. I have patents filed on the material because it is the only substance that exists that can fully coat a pine cone (or other object) and react the same way in water as a traditional bath bomb.”

It’s enough to amaze the little ones, and then all the parents have to do is read the lovely storybook about the elves before bedtime. After the kids are asleep, the adults can replace the pinecone and water with a Christmas tree. When the kids wake up the next morning – VOILA!

The storybook is illustrated by Kylie Wright of Mariposa, a young friend of the Browns. “With her unique style of art, she brought the story to life,” Daniel Brown said. 

Daniel Brown stands next to a large shipment of his magic pinecones.

Finally, Brown spent a lot of time on the packaging, making the box as magical as the pinecone and storybook inside. 

“We have had great response to The Magic North Pole Pinecone and many parents have found innovative ways to use it such as ‘growing’ a small fake or real tree in hallways or kids rooms so they have their own, magically grown Christmas tree to enjoy all year.”

Local residents can see the Magic Pinecone and Storybook for themselves this Friday, Dec. 1, during the Christmas On Canal shopping and celebration event around 18th and Canal streets in downtown Merced, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The pinecones and storybook will be on display at the locally-owned UN.RAVEL boutique, salon and spa at 1804 Canal Street. This will be the salon’s fourth year hosting a Christmas on Canal event, and there were be plenty of holiday treats and cheer. 

Come by and visit, and experience the Christmas Magic. 

For more on the product, visit online at:

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