Merry Ways to Get in the Christmas Spirit with Tech!

by on December 20, 2012 · 18 comments

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the season or need a bit of extra Christmas cheer this year, check out these ways that tech can brighten your holidays!

Santa

Santa must be extremely tech-savvy because he has lots of ways to reach out to people all over the world using different tech tools. Here are some ways to communicate with Santa using tech:

NORAD

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve since the 1950′s. This year, you can follow Santa’s trip using apps.

Here’s a preview of what to expect from Santa in 2012:

My full review of NORAD’s Santa tracking can be found at NORAD – Tracking Santa Across the Globe!

Google Earth Santa Tracker

Not to be outdone by NORAD, Google has its own Santa tracker this year. In a few short days you’ll be able to follow Santa’s journey across the globe with Google Earth!

Portable North Pole

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Either way, Santa will send you a free custom message with your name and mentioning the gift at the top of your wish list. My full review, Portable North Pole – Your Personal Message from Santa! explains how you can send free custom videos from their website.

Here’s a sample video:

Verizon FiOS Chat with Santa

Verizon has come up with an adorable way you can have a live video chat with Santa:  Verizon Chat with Santa.  You have to enter your street address to see whether Verizon FiOS is available for your home, but the video chat is free, cute and funny. Note that some very mild mayhem occurs during the chat, so this service may not be best for the youngest children. Preview it first if you have little ones. My teenage daughters couldn’t get enough of these chats with Santa!

The Bible

If  the Bible story of Jesus being born brings the true meaning of Christmas into your house, check out the free Bible app by YouVersion. My full review, Holy Bible, Holy Tech!, explains more about this app and how you can use it to read the entire Bible in a year.

YouVersion also has a website showing where the Bible story of Jesus is being read: Christmas YouVersion.

A Charlie Brown Christmas App

A Charlie Brown Christmas is now available as an app. The app is an animated reading of the classic tale A Charlie Brown Christmas. You can see the old-fashioned record spin on the turntable and watch the snow fall as you hear the story being read aloud. The classic music plays along in the background as well. The app has the original dialogue from the 1965 holiday TV show and features narration by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown.

You can add your child’s photo to the inside cover of the book and play Schroeder’s piano. You can save bookmarks to return to your favorite parts of the book.

A Charlie Brown Christmas app is available:

Note that the iTunes App offers in-app purchases.

Holiday Movies

If watching holiday movies is the best way to get you in the Christmas mood, check out these videos from Netflix. Holiday classics as well as new favorites are available on Netflix Instant video, ready to stream to your computer, mobile device or gaming console: Netflix Holiday Favorites.

Bottom Line

Let tech help enhance the holiday spirit at your home!

Have you used any of these tech tools to bring the spirit of Christmas into your house? Do you have any favorite holiday websites or apps you would recommend? Let us know in the Comments section below!

* Christmas tree watercolor image by Hiking Artist

Comments on this entry are closed.

Harleena Singh
Twitter:
December 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

Just what I was waiting for Carolyn!

You are so wonderful where tech is concerned, and I still remember the video message from Santa that made my day last year from Portable Northpole! I sent it to so many people thereafter, and even my kids and their friends had a wonderful time using that app. :-)

I haven’t really heard about the others, which I would again be checking out soon after here – they sound as exciting as well. I think the chat with Santa sounds a good one to start with!

Thanks for sharing these with all of us. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

Hi Harleena, Thank you. I’m delighted that you like this post. This was a very fun post to research and write.

My Portable North Pole article from last year got hits year ’round from people who wanted videos all throughout the year. It’s such a wonderful service, I’m so glad that your daughters enjoyed their videos.

I hope you have a very happy holiday season as well and enjoy these wonderful sites. (*)
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Mike Maynard
Twitter:
December 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi Carolyn,

We are getting into the Christmas spirit. I am anyway, I just bought a bottle of scotch…

I haven’t had a bad review for my Christmas story despite the dodgy punctuation. I should know better, I always do dialogue punctuation wrong!

I saw this app for smart phones, I think this is new, so you might like to take a look: https://jobsmobile.com/

I shall be blogging through Christmas. So if anyone gets bored, there are my ramblings to read! :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Hi Mike, Good point, a bottle of scotch is one type of spirit!

Your Christmas story was delightful. I’ve been thinking about it today. You should publish it at one of your blogs, Mike!

That looks like a great app, Mike. What a useful way to match people in the UK with people who are looking for work.
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Mayura
Twitter:
December 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Wow… I really really love your post image dear :-) Love the colors. Did you make it?

Oh my… I didn’t know things about tracking Santa, even at Google Earth. Well, I don’t celebrate X-mas but now something new. Just go through the details about NORAD at their website. Sometimes I surprise how they get ideas :-) The NORAD is very popular over there dear? :-)

I like the Charlie Brown Christmas app, especially when you say it’s is an animated reading. I don’t know how you find this all ;-)

Nice series of posts for this X-mas season Carolyn :-) That’s for sure…

Cheers…
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Hi Mayura, Thanks for your kind words. I love researching articles for The Wonder of Tech. I’ve been working on this article for quite a while.

The watercolor I found on Flickr, from Hiking Artist, available through Creative Commons. I loved the image too, especially the colors.

Thanks for stopping by to comment, even though you don’t celebrate Christmas, Mayura!
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Adrienne
Twitter:
December 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

You share the funnest things Carolyn. I remember a few of these from last year or similar that is. Tech is always coming up with new fun things all the time. I love it and enjoyed watching these videos. And yes, I hopped over and had a chat with Santa too! Loved it!

~Adrienne
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hi Adrienne, Yes, some are old favorites and some are new. I like visiting both the classics and checking out the new ones.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Adrienne! :-)
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Bill Dorman
Twitter:
December 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I got a flask at the office Christmas party; that was pretty cool… :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

That’s great Bill, you can put your Christmas spirit(s) in your new flask. Merry, merry! :-bd
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Carol B
Twitter:
December 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I am familiar with most of them, have used NORAD and Portable North Pole in prior years, and liked the results. I have heard of Google Earth Santa Tracker, though never used it. Will have to look into it, see how well it tracks Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve! My son is a big Charlie Brown fan, so will have to check out that app for him.

The Verizon FIOS Chat with Santa is new to me! Sounds intriguing. Will have to give it a try.

Thanks for
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hi Carol, Yes, this is the first year that Google Earth is doing its own Santa tracker. NORAD must have taken the Bing It On! challenge because they’re using Bing maps this year to track Santa. I’m glad Google is doing its own tracking. I’m sure they will do a fantastic job.

The FiOS chat is a lot of fun. Santa is getting pretty high tech these days! :-)
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Thomas
Twitter:
December 22, 2012 at 11:02 am

Hi Carolyn
Very cool that we can track Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve :D I hope you and your family are going to have a great Christmas Carolyn
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Hi Thomas, Thank you. Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
December 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I haven’t used any of them yet, but they seems to be perfect for my kids and I’ll show it to the first thing after breakfast tomorrow :-)

Thank you Carolyn and Merry Christmas
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hi Jens, I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas! :-)
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Justin December 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hello again,

Although I do not celebrate Christmas, you have elegantly spread some very creative ideas for your readers. I was thinking maybe a Santa Facebook page or twitter account. Nice article again.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hi Justin, Thanks so much. I’m very glad you enjoyed this article, even though you don’t celebrate Christmas. I try to write about the very best tech here at The Wonder of Tech! :-)
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