An annual Christmas tradition for many a family, having your kids' photos taken with Santa can be fun, frightful, or just plain funny, depending on your little ones' reactions. We were thrilled to see the response to our latest Instagram Challenge, in which you, our readers, shared so many adorable snaps of your kiddos on the lap of jolly old St. Nick. Click through to see some of our favorite photos and a big thanks to all who participated!
We're happy to present this article from our partner site Yahoo! Shine:
When I was 7 years old, I was a True Believer in Santa Claus. One of my closest friends wasn't, though, and when he insisted that the Jolly Old Elf was a lie, I was shaken — so much so that, when my parents reassured me that my friend was wrong, I didn't quite believe them.
Related: Kids-with-Santa Photos Gone Wrong
On Christmas Eve, we were invited to a party at that friend's house. I stuck close to my dad for the entire day (and bossed my younger brother into following my mom around the house), and we made sure that there was absolutely nothing under the tree when we left for the party. Once at my friend's house, I continued to shadow my parents, to see whether they left the party for any reason. They didn't.
There comes a year in every household when formerly firm believers in Saint Nick begin to doubt his validity. While you certainly don't want to still be keeping up the guise when your tots become teenagers, no parent wants to take away the magic of Christmas for their kids at too early of an age. What to do if you have a little Santa doubter in your house this Christmas? Show him evidence that the man in red is the real deal, of course. Gone are the days when a handwritten note and some reindeer tracks by the fireplace would suffice. It's 2012, and Santa's gone high-tech, with apps, websites, and phone tricks aplenty to keep little ones believing. Here are five of our favorite resources for keeping the Christmas magic alive for at least another year. Ho, ho, ho!
- Catch Him in the Act: In just three easy steps, you can create a photograph of Santa in your very own living room. Snap a photo of your Christmas tree or fireplace with your cell phone, add in one of iCaughtSanta's Santa pics, and share with your kids. Oh, what fun!
- Show Your Kids a Video Made Especially For Them: Tweet Telefonica 02's YouTube and Twitter Santa with the hashtag #02santa, and he'll create a personalized video for your kiddos — and upload it to YouTube in time for Christmas!
- Schedule a Santa Skype Session: Dublin-based Santa's Video Calls allows mom or dad to schedule a 10-minute Skype session for their little one to chat live with jolly old Saint Nick!
- iChat With Santa: Santa's Video Chat allows you to record your own message, then disguises your voice and simulates a video call from Santa himself.
- Track Santa's Journey From the North Pole: NORAD has been tracking Santa for close to 60 years, but the site's become tech-savvy, with complementary apps and Bing map features.
The big day is upon us — Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and if you've got little ones in your house, they're surely getting pumped for jolly ol' St. Nick to make his rounds. Although your kids (or nieces, nephews, cousins) can't meet Santa face to face, you can keep the magic alive by tracking the big guy all night with some help from Google.
- Online — Norad is tracking Santa on Google Earth in 3D! Keep track of his whereabouts starting tomorrow and throughout Christmas Day.
- On the Phone — Dial Norad's official Santa tracking hotline (1-877-Hi-NORAD) to get updates from phone operators on flight preparations and location.
- Via email — Shoot an email over to Norad's Santa inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a message back with his current location.
- On Twitter — Follow the NoradSanta Twitter feed for live updates on Kris Kringle's whereabouts.
- On Facebook — Check out videos from around the globe and get up to the minute info on Santa's sleigh on the official Facebook page.
- Get a Call — Excite your little ones with a call from Santa, or let them leave the jolly man a message on his own Google Voice number.
A trip to the mall for a visit with Santa is an annual tradition for many families, but it isn't always greeted with enthusiasm by tots. The idea of sitting on a stranger's lap and telling him what's on the wish list just doesn't sit well with many kids. With the wonders of technology, that mall visit is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Through Skype, iPhone apps, and YouTube, parents can keep the magic of Santa alive for just a bit longer.
Keep reading to see how your tykes can interact with St. Nick without ever leaving their home.
Santa baby will take on a whole new meaning this year! A year after giving the traditional nappy a much-needed update, Huggies is at it again with a holiday-themed diaper that will take toddlers right through the holiday season. Like the jean and camouflage versions before them, Huggies Little Movers Santa Diapers ($12.30 for 29) feature Jolly Old St. Nicholas's red pants and black belt printed on the diaper company's traditional design. Better turn up the heat before slipping these on your lil one though — unlike the denim design that unveiled in the middle of the Summer, these nappies are hitting stores just in time for the coldest months of the year, so tots might not be strutting around in them as readily as the others.
What do you think of the new design? Will it be part of your lil one's holiday outfits?
Santa Claus is
coming to town going to town with some outdoor fitness fun! Seems like St. Nick is working off his bowl full of jelly beans. Why ride a sleigh when you can power a bike (add a light, and you don't even need Rudolf)? Jolly old Santa is working out around the holidays; are you? Tell us what exercises you do around Christmas, or tell us why you don't.
The wrapping paper is all crumbled up, and the milk and cookies are long gone. Now that Saint Nick has come and gone, we want to know how the old man did this year.
When we inquired about holiday budgets, some parents planned on a thrifty $50 limit per child while others expected to spend $1,500 or more. While many moms and dads would agree that the holidays are more about spending time together as a family, the gift-giving often takes over and makes a hero out of Santa Claus or whomever the generous person may be. Do tell, how did Santa do on the gift sweep this season?
Technology makes everything easier and more accessible, right? Well, Santa's travels tonight are no exception. Google Earth and Norad (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) are providing the definitive tracking system. Want to look out for the big guy? It's easy!
All you need is to download Google Earth if you haven't already, and then go to Norad's Santa page. Click the red button to download the Santa tracking file (available at 6 a.m. EST today), and track away!
If you'd rather head out and celebrate the holiday than sit in front of a computer tonight, you can also use Norad to track Santa on your cell phone!
Young believers in Santa Claus know that writing a letter to the North Pole is a task worth completing when it comes to getting the gifts they want. Whether they are asking for a shiny new sled or a Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster, wee ones delight in making a lengthy list for the bearded one and his lil helpers. When the gig is up, it's entertaining to take a look back at the lists from years past. Instead of tossing them in the recycling bin, moms can store them in a secret place where they can be shared later in life. A bound book with the requested gifts may turn out to be the best gift of all! If mama's short on ideas, check out our awesome holiday gift guide!
Flickr user genealogy photos