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9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web

You don’t have to head to the North Pole to hook up with Santa this year. There’s a sackful of online options that will let your little ones connect with the Claus from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you want to write to Santa online, receive personalized video messages and calls or prove the man in red is real, we’ve found nine sites and services to help you out.

So if you’ve got kids, or you’re just a big kid yourself, get in the Christmas spirit and have a read below to find the sites that will sort your online Santa needs this festive season.

1. E-mail Santa

This is a great online service, as you get results right away, which anyone with impatient little ones will know can only be a good thing. Fill in the blanks of a standard “Dear Santa” letter, and moments later you’ll have a personalized reply from the big man himself to read on screen or print.

2. Send a Call From Santa With Google Voice

After a relatively quick Q&A session asking the name, age, choice of gift (with some amusing answer options in the drop-down menus), this Google (Google)-backed service will generate a quality-sounding “call” for the rugrat(s) in your life. In reply, they can leave a message for Santa via a toll-free number.

3. Personalized Santa Video

You do have to register for this Disney service, but it’s worth it, or will be when you see the look on children’s faces as their names and photos show up on Santa’s monitor, as he checks to see if they are on the nice list. They are, of course.

4. Smilebox’s Dear Santa Video Card

Smilebox’s “Dear Santa” download makes your youngster the star of the show. You can customize the clip with personal info and then add adorable footage of your child cutely lisping through his or her Christmas wish list. Sharing options make the video easy to send to adoring grandparents, aunts and uncles too.

5. Santa’s Good List Interactive Quiz

It’s the elves in the spotlight here as they take children through 12 questions to ascertain whether they’ve been good enough to get on the nice list. The service is password protected so you’ll need to hand over your e-mail to get a “key,” but once you do you can check in again anytime to make sure your child’s name is still on the nice list.

6. Portable North Pole Personalized Santa Video

Another personalized video message from Santa, the PNP offering takes you through some comprehensive questions for a fully featured clip tailored to toddlers or older children and, yes, even grown ups too. The Santa is magnificent with a rather splendid beard and an authentic kindly manner. Recommended.

7. Visit the North Pole

Ideal for rainy (or snowy!) day activities during school vacation time, this site is chock-full of Santa, elf, reindeer and North Pole-themed interactive stories and educational games for online fun. There are recipes, craft ideas and print-outs for offline holiday activities to amuse the kids too.

8. NORAD Santa Tracker

Thanks to NORAD and Google, you can track Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve, something guaranteed to get the children very excited indeed. This long-running tradition has been given a new lease on life in recent years with Google’s involvement, adding a little bit of map-based magic to millions of Christmas Eves around the globe.

9. I Caught Santa Photo

If you’re in need of some “proof” that Santa exists (and don’t have the Photoshop skills to create your own), then for a fee you can upload your own photo and paste on one of I Caught Santa’s Father Christmases. It’ll cost you a penny under $10 via the site or from $0.99 via the iPhone app.

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