It’s a 21st Century Christmas

by DaniGirl on December 10, 2010 · 4 comments

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

This post was inspired by a CBC article about how Shaw Cable moved its beloved Yule Log channel to a Video On Demand channel. The previously free stream featuring nothing but a Yule log burning in a fireplace, now entering its 25th year, will now cost 99 cents. The fee, plus a matching amount from Shaw, will be donated to charity. Thanks to the Twitter conversation about the change to Shaw’s Yule log channel, I discovered that of course there’s an app for that. And then I fell down the rabbit hole of iPhone Christmas apps.

Here are five of the most interesting Christmas-themed apps I found. (Caveat: I have not tested many of these. Use at your own risk!)

1. The Yule Log app. As soothing and oddly compelling as Log itself.

2. Christmas Music by Nutsie. Thousands of Christmas songs wrapped up in dozens of playlists like Top 100 Christmas Songs, Children’s Christmas, Krazy Kristmas, and (I’m so curious, I may just have to fork out the $1.99 for this one) the Jingle Bells Playlist.

3. Postcards from Santa. This one is getting such great reviews that I think I might have to try it myself! “Select from a number of charming santa images, use our pre-written santa message or write your own, and enter the name and mailing address of the child you want to send the postcard to. We will print the customized postcard and drop it in the mail. Your child’s postcard will arrive only a few days later in the mail.” Fun!

4. Talking Santa. “Talk to Santa and he will repeat your words. Poke, swipe or tickle Santa to see his various reactions. Run Santa over with a huge snowball. (I can hear my boys howling over this already!) Give Santa milk & cookies. Touch the bag to see more than 20 gifts. Shake your device and see what happens.”

5. The Christmas Tree Decorating App. No space for a tree? This seems like a silly little app to help you feel like you decorated the tree. “Decorate your tree however you choose with colored lights, ornaments, candy canes and icicles. But be careful not to drop any ornaments or you will hear that dreaded shatter! Watch your individually decorated tree sparkle as you countdown the days till Christmas.”

And, for those of you who don’t have an iPhone or an iPad, here’s four more 21st Century Christmas sites and services!

I’ve said before how much of a huge fan I am of the Portable North Pole application. Upload a picture and make a few specifications on Santa’s site, and Santa will e-mail you a link to a personalized video that mentions your child by name AND shows a picture of him or her in Santa’s big book. This is a delightful service and my boys are already asking if Santa will be sending them a new message this year. (Um, note to self — next task on list = upload pix to Portable North Pole!)

Along the same lines, Sympatico’s Magic Santa is an online video service you can use to make free personalized videos messages from Santa for your kids. is partnering with Kids Help Phone and will be giving $0.25 to them for every video made up to $50,000. There’s also is a contest… one family will win a trip to Walt Disney World by capturing a photo or video of a child’s reaction to a Magic Santa video and submitting it to the contest site by December 19, 2010. And there’s even a Magic Santa iPhone app.

The NORAD Santa Tracker site has been around for awhile, but now there’s a mobile version, too! This Christmas eve, join NORAD to track Santa’s flight from your phone. On December 24th, open Google Maps for mobile and do a search for “Santa” to see his latest location.

And of course, you can always follow Santa on Twitter!

Completely serendipitously, just as I was finishing this post, my brother e-mailed me this amazing video of a Christmas concert staged entirely with iPhones and iPads. As my brother said, how could you NOT want an iPhone or an iPad after you see this?

We’ve come a long way from letters the editor, haven’t we Virginia?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura December 10, 2010 at 8:54 am

This is great Christmas info Dani! I have to admit, I got a little thrill when I saw Santa was following me on Twitter. Yikes – he is really connected. lol

2 Coco December 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Does that mean one does not need any musical talent? That would be me!

3 Magic Santa December 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for including #MagicSanta! RT @DaniGirl It's a 21st Century Christmas, and there's an app for that!

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