I’m not the kind of parent who likes the “kid crying on Santa’s lap” photo and I certainly don’t relish the thought of waiting on a long line at the mall to see Santa Claus, whether my daughter decides she hates him or he’s her best buddy. Then I discovered some technological alternatives to the dreaded mall trip and I am intrigued enough to try one or all of them. Hey, if the guy can fly through the air and drop gifts to millions of children in one night, it's about time he had some internet exposure.
A friend sent me a Santa website where you can input specific information about your child (but not too specific), including your child’s name, age, how they’ve been good this year & that special gift they’re craving this season. Then you receive an email with a link to a video greeting from St. Nick himself. It’s free, it can be tailored to each child and it’s quick and easy to set up. My husband and I thought it was great. I got the email after my daughter's bedtime so she hasn't seen it yet, but I think she might prefer it to a face-to-face meeting.
I also learned of another site called VisitSantaOnline, which allows children & parents to see Santa live for free. For a donation (a portion goes to Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital), Santa can also hear and see you and your kids.
NORAD Tracks Santa has been in the business for many years of allowing children to track Santa's Christmas Eve flight on television but they have a website as well where kids can watch videos, visit Santa's Village and, of course, watch him in action on December 24th.
There are lots of places to bump into Santa in New Jersey this holiday season - including charity events - so we might still try the traditional route.
But I wonder how much my parents would’ve loved being able to just plop us in front of the computer to say hi to Santa. No big photo opportunity, but no crying either.
Originally Published By Sandra K. Lee on December 15, 2009 on the New Jersey Mom's Blog.
Sandra K. Lee