Photo Credit: J. L. Pelaez/Iconica/Getty Images
When I was a kid, getting a phone call from Santa -- a.k.a. my Uncle Frank -- was a major highlight of the season. I couldn't believe the guy in the red suit was taking the time to call me and it was proof positive that holiday magic was a very real thing!
Parents today, however, have far more sophisticated tricks to help keep the spirit of Santa alive. Whether you tweet St. Nick, track his travels using GPS or cue up a custom video, these sneaky ideas are bound to leave you with a roomful of believers come Christmas morning.
-- At NORAD Tracks Santa you can track Santa's flight on Christmas Eve using Google Earth, courtesy of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Until then, you can stay connected on Facebook and Twitter (@NORADsanta).
-- Customize a video from the Portable North Pole’s message creator using uploaded photos and identifying details about your little elf to show just how much Santa knows (and that he really is watching!).
-- Try Claus-themed apps like the Talking Santa for iPhone, which records a message that Santa repeats back and reveals your child's standing on the naughty or nice list. The Letters to Santa for iPhone and iPad app provides responses to kids' missives to St. Nick within an hour.
-- Follow the Twitter streams of @Santa and @SantaClaus (both managed by NORADSanta) and hear the big guy opine on cookies and share exchanges with @Whoville and @Grinch), but heed his recent tweet: “Fake RTs of me are sure to put you on the naughty list...”
-- Catch Santa in the act at Capture the Magic which lets you drop an an image of St. Nick into a photo of your living room, documenting his visit for any doubters.
For more inventive ways to keep the magic of Santa alive, click here.