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Even Santa Claus has embraced technology

 

Mariah Smith/Extension Center for Technology Outreach

 

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 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. 

 

If you would like to print out a letter from Santa to your child, visit 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 claus.com/naughtyornice/index.php to check where they are on Santa's Nice-o-Meter list.  

 

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 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. 

 

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 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 noradsanta.org/.

 

 

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