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The information presented on this page was originally released on December 20, 2012. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Even Santa Claus has embraced technology
Many children are on the move this Christmas season as they go over the river and through the woods to distant relatives’ houses. Travel can be very distressing for little ones who worry Santa might not be able to find them on Christmas morning. Fortunately, Santa has gone mobile with numerous Smartphone apps to help children and their parents stay in contact with the jolly old elf while on the move.
If your little one is worried about getting to grandmother’s before Santa does, be sure to check out the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s “NORAD Tracks Santa” app, which is free from Google Play and iTunes. For $1.99, the “Video Calls with Santa” app lets children Skype with Santa, depending on whether they have been naughty or nice.
A Christmas elf, often resembling parents or older siblings, can email wish lists to Santa at http://www.northpole.com/Mailroom. Unfortunately, all the snow and ice at the North Pole can wreak havoc on the Clauses’ Internet connection, so it may take three days to get an emailed response from Santa. This website does have one pop-up that appears when you first visit the site, but it’s a generic advertisement, nothing little eyes shouldn’t see.
Children who are “in the know” can bypass the long lines and email Santa and Mrs. Claus their wish lists at http://www.saintnick.org/html/letters.html. It appears Mrs. Claus and Rudolph are on top of getting these letters turned around quickly since you get a reply back from Santa in less than half an hour.
If you would like to print out a letter from Santa to your child, visit http://www.kriskringle.com/post-office/. However, Santa will need a little help from parents since he may have trouble figuring out which printer to use at your house. This website plays music regardless of what items you click on. You will have to close the site to stop the music.
If your children are hovering between naughty and nice, help them stay on track by visiting http://www.claus.com/naughtyornice/index.php to check where they are on Santa’s Nice-o-Meter list. If you are really concerned about where your children are on the list, consider cross-checking their names at the list maintained over at http://www.kriskringle.com/santas-house/. We would not want any clerical errors.
For those of you who would like to see Santa in person, but the tickets to the North Pole are just too expensive this year, Santa is more than willing to send a customized video message for free at http://magicsanta.ca/homepage.html.
Santa will need a little help with this beforehand, but the results are well worth it. Then watch along with your child as Santa pulls his or her name and photo card from his files. After going over a few items (like whether or not they’ve been nice to their brothers and sisters), he sends the elves off to work on the list. Before he says goodbye, he creates a magical ornament for his Christmas tree and offers words of encouragement to your child for the New Year.
If you are concerned about Santa not taking care of himself this holiday season, check out his beach vacation at http://www.santa.net/video-summer.html. Who knew Santa could surf? During his downtime, Santa likes to put his feet up and read the North Pole Times. You too can keep up with the latest happenings at the North Pole by visiting http://www.northpoletimes.com/.
For the parent who wishes to get no sleep on Christmas Eve, check the Santa tracker for the exact hour and minute that Santa will be at your house at http://www.kriskringle.com/tracking-center/. He’ll be at my house at 12:43:28 a.m. on Christmas morning, so if you live on my street, you’d best be ready.
As always, NORAD is on top of keeping North America’s air space free and clear for Santa to make his deliveries. They will help you track Santa’s flight path starting on Christmas Eve at http://www.noradsanta.org/.
For the traditionalist out there, it should be noted that all of the etiquette experts agree a handwritten note is best. Mail those letters to this address: North Pole, Holiday Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Dr., Anchorage, AK 99530-9998.
If you would like to help Santa Claus out, you can write another letter addressed to your child with appropriate postage and mail it in a larger envelope to address above. The Postmaster there will send the letter from Santa to your child with the official North Pole postmark.
Be sure to check with your local post office to see if they participate in the Letters to Santa program. This holiday season, take time to enjoy the wonder and excitement Christmas has to offer with the children in your life.