Technology to Make Christmas Special for Your Kids

I’ve got Christmas on my mind.  We’ve been quite busy in our household preparing for Christmas.  We spent this past weekend having an early Christmas celebration with my husband’s family.  It’s always so much fun to see all our kids playing together – reminds me of Christmas at my grandparents’ house.  Like me, my mom was one of eleven children.  And every Christmas, everyone would go to my grandparents’ house.  It was a packed house, as I’m sure you can imagine.  It was my favorite memory from Christmas.

Being the middle child of eleven children, I don’t think I ever really believed in Santa Claus.  My oldest sister is 8 years older than me, so figure that they must have told me at some point.  In any case, I wanted to give my kids the magic of believing in Santa.  For many years, I have photoshopped Santa into a picture of our living room using Gimp (a free photoshopping application).  I would print out a picture and leave it on the coffee table for the boys to find in the morning.  They absolutely loved it!  It also confirmed with them that I knew Santa personally so they better behave or I could call him.  However, this year my older son asked if I could video tape Santa at our house.  Apparently, because of photo editing software on his DS, he put together that you could add Santa to pictures.  Luckily, he seems to have forgotten about that request.

Last year, I learned about Portable North Pole.  I love this web site!  It’s a site that allows you to create a free personalized message from Santa!  You fill out some information about your child like name, age, where you live, if he/she has been good this year and what he/she wants for Christmas.  You can also upload a picture of your child and 2 pictures of things you did that year (like vacation, sports, accomplishments, etc.)  And from that information, the site creates a message for your child.  If you have multiple children, know that the video is the same except for the personal information that you give it.  Our kids didn’t seem to care; they were actually excited that they were similar.  Every night I ask my kids what their favorite part of the day was.  Last night, they both said finding out that they are on the nice list!

And on Christmas Eve, we always check out the Norad Santa site.  This year they have games on the site you can do before Christmas Eve.  You can find them on the Countdown Village tab.  On Christmas Eve, they post Santa sitings from around the world.

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