Five ways to interact with Santa

by DaniGirl on December 7, 2009 · 8 comments

in 5 things, Fun for kiddies, How I love the Interwebs

Back in the day, the only ways you could “interact” with Santa were to stand in line at the mall to sit on his knee, or maybe at your parents’ annual company Christmas party.

Now that we live in an interactive world, though, not only can your kids write a letter to Santa, or listen to Christmas Eve updates of his whereabouts from the local weather man, but you can get e-mails, videos and track the big dude yourself starting early in December. Here are five fun ways for kids to communicate with Santa, starting with my fave.

1. The Portable North Pole. I love this app, madly and deeply. Whomever came up with this and put it together is brilliant. I did this last year and the look on the boys’ faces was priceless — and though I haven’t been all the way through it this year, I can see they’ve made even more improvements and personalization. You the parent have to go in ahead of time and set it up, supplying your kids’ first names, something they’ve done that’s good, a photo if you like, and other personalized details. They give you a link to a video, and you can visit it later with your kids. I must remember to go in tonight to set up all three boys, so they’ll know Santa is thinking about them!

2. Letters and e-mails to Santa. Yes, it’s true, you can e-mail Santa and he’ll reply, but isn’t the ritual of writing and sending an actual paper letter, and then the eye-popping excitement of getting something back in the mail box, worth the extra effort? In Canada, you have to mail your letters before December 16 if you want a reply. Mail to:

Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0

Or you can send an e-mail through (Hmmm, in the US, it seems that the US Postal Service has stopped providing a Letters to Santa service this year. Any other ideas from our American friends?)

3. Norad’s Santa Tracker. When I was a kid, I remember watching with slack-jawed wonder as Percy Saltzman, the weather man on Global News, talked about Norad tracking Santa as he began his journey around the world on Christmas Eve. I think just about everybody has heard of Norad’s Santa Tracking service, but I had no idea of this charming history to the project, courtesy of WikiPedia:

In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn’t find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa’s position to any child who called in.

In 1997, Canadian Major Jamie Robertson took over the program and expanded it to the Web where corporation-donated services have given the tradition global accessibility. In 2004, NORAD received more than 35,000 e-mails, 55,000 calls and 912 million hits on the Santa-tracking website from 181 countries. The site now gets well over 1 billion hits.

Love it!

4. Friend Santa’s on Facebook Last year, there was a kerfuffle online when Facebook refused to let Santa have more than 5000 friends but the Norad Tracks Santa page has more than 37,000 fans. And if you’re in it for the presents, the I Believe In Santa Claus group has more than 150,000 fans and seems to have regular giveaways.

5. Follow Santa on Twitter. Alas, Santa is not immune to the celebrity social media phenomenon of having squatters steal his identity, but you can trust updates from @noradsanta (official twitter ID of the Norad Santa Tracker project) and @SantaClaus is keeping a public list of who’s naughty and nice! (And, those of you with a more cynical inclination to the holidays might appreciate the tweets of @loadedsanta, definitely not safe for kids!)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve December 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

Love the PNP, and so will my kids thanks Dani. Cheers,

2 Chantal December 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm

If you drop your letter off to your local Post Office, chances are, it stays right there and gets a personal reply to boot. I’m the Santa writer in our office and I love freaking kids out with stuff I know. Small town living sure rocks!

3 Amber December 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Canada Post says that they answer letters to Santa in many languages from around the world. So, anyone could send a letter to Santa at the address you provided, but those from the US and other countries would have to add ‘CANADA’ at the bottom of the address and use appropriate postage. Although, you would definitely need to send the letter sooner.

4 Stephen Wynn December 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm

RT @DaniGirl: Blogcasting: Five fun ways to interact with Santa

5 Mudhooks December 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm

RT @DaniGirl Blogcasting: Five fun ways to interact with Santa

6 Costin December 15, 2009 at 2:21 am

You can also watch a live webinar with Santa this coming Saturday and ask him live questions! Go to for more info!

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