I’m Dreaming of a Digital Christmas

It’s December 15th and you know what that means; Christmas is almost here. Easily my favorite holiday, Christmas means a season full of family, food, gifts and digital media?

It’s funny to think how much technology has changed this holiday in the last 10 years. It’s not so funny to think how old I feel just saying that. Back when I was a kid, we actually hand-wrote letters to the North Pole and calls from Santa were really uncles disguising their voices, or not. 

While all these digital holiday tools may be diminishing children’s imaginations, they are pretty entertaining. Here are some of the best ways to have a social holiday:
Share your thoughts, links, retweets and inane ramblings with your family and friends this holiday season. Tweet wrap will create customized wrapping paper for you based on a trending topic or username. It’s a great, shameless(?) plug if you’re trying to grow your followers too!
This quick and fun tool from Google, which, P.S. amazes me more each day, lets you send personalized messages from Santa to your friends and family. The prompts it provides are rather limited, but I totally would have fallen for this when I was five. You better believe that my friends will be getting messages from Santa and that I will choose the most outrageous prompts possible, e.g. “You’ve been a very good Elvis Impersonator this year, Coordinated “. 
Following along the same line as the Santa calls, but adding WAY more options, is the Santa Mega Pack app. This app offers benefits for kids and parents. Kids can make wishlists, play games and read stories while parents can access and share wishlists and request calls or texts from Santa. It also has four language options for multi-lingual families.Très bon!

Perfect for the Santa doubter or people like my father who think Google Earth is the greatest invention ever, this site lets you track Santa as he moves around the world. Fun fact; Norad started tracking Santa back in 1955 after Sears printed the wrong phone number in its catalogs. Kids were supposed to be able to call in to Sears for a message from Santa. Conveniently enough, they printed the number for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) who began tracking the big guy in the red suit. 55 years later, the tradition continues. 

For many people, a video chat isn’t the first thing that comes to mind after hearing “Christmas”. However, for those of us who are living far away from our families and working during the holidays, Skype is a great way to share in the excitement of Christmas morning. For me and my khaki-clad companions, this will be the first Christmas (or Hanukkah) season away from home. A bowl game on Dec. 28 immediately followed by three huge events and two additional (larger) bowl games ensures that we won’t be sleeping, let alone flying home to open gifts. So while it may not be the same as coming downstairs in footsie pajamas to find what Santa left in my stocking, it may keep my mother from completely losing her mind. More to come on khaki holidays…
Elf Yourself  has been around for a number of years now, but it never gets old. This year, OfficeMax added more dance options which are every entertaining and can make a 12-hour day a little better. I’m most looking forward to turning my co-workers into elves when we all start to get a little too over-worked.
For the record, we can dance like this in real life, too.
Hopefully you’ll use some of these sites for your holidays, or at least your personal enjoyment!

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