Christmas is just a few days away and the excitement in our house is mounting. A few relatives have already sent wrapped presents for the kids that are now under the tree and just testing my son’s patience. One way to give the kids their Santa fix, besides watching The Grinch, Arthur Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on repeat (check out the incredible back story of Rudolph on my Facebook page), is by downloading these free apps.

Portable North Pole
My cousin told me about Portable North Pole, a  website and app (iOS and Android), which lets you create magical Santa videos for your loved ones by uploading a photo and submitting their names. The basic version is free.

An app called ImagineAR (iOS and Android) is my favorite. Thanks to Rich DeMuro of KTLA for turning me on to it! “It lets you virtually place a dancing, singing or sitting Santa in a video. To make it work, just download the app and select “AR Near Me,” then select a Santa “experience” from the bottom of the screen.”

Synthesia Santa
Rich DeMuro also did a segment on KTLA on how to create a free, personalized video greeting from an AI-powered Santa (Synthesia Santa), which I suppose is the next best thing to going to a mall and getting your kid’s picture taken next to him. “A company called Synthesia has created an AI Santa that can say whatever you want. Well, within reason. The company says “political, sexual, offensive or criminal content will not be approved.” To get it, just choose a background for Santa, type in your message, enter your email address and soon, you’ll have a custom video you can send to family and friends or share on social media.”

The perennial favorite is Norad Santa, which tracks Santa and has a remarkable back story since it began in 1955. They’ve really ramped things up with a whole new website, including adding an arcade games section. I’ve only played one (Santa On Skates) with my son and it’s addictive. At one point, my son and I were almost fighting over the computer for the next turn!

Google Santa Tracker
Google has a new Santa Tracker as well, which I will test out on Christmas Eve with my kids.

Flightradar24 Santa Tracker
Flightradar24 which is arguably every frequent traveler and news organization’s flight tracker is tracking Santa.


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