It’s never too early to start planning for Christmas. And it’s never too early for your kids to think about what they want for Christmas, and reach out to Santa Claus. These days, there are all sorts of different ways for your child to contact Santa.
Below, we’ve compiled a few of the best ways, and some details about the cutoff dates and recommended time frame for contacting them, to ensure you get a response before Christmas.
Send a Letter
One of the most tried-and-true methods for contacting Santa is by sending an old-fashioned letter in the mail. This is best done early, since it can take some time to get a response. In the US and Canada, the USPS and Canada Post, respectively, offer these services. Both recommend letters be mailed by the first week of December to ensure a response by Christmas.
If you’ve missed that deadline, though, there’s still a chance to get a response by Christmas. Just send a letter to the Santa Claus Museum in Santa Claus, Indiana. They accept letters up to December 20th and send out responses that should arrive to most people’s homes before Christmas day.
Send an E-mail
You can also contact Santa digitally – apparently they have pretty good Wi-Fi at the North Pole. Sending an e-mail via a web form is easy and quick – and, let’s face it, far more familiar to today’s digitally-literate children. There are numerous sites and services that offer e-mails to Santa, including A Letter for Santa, Email Santa, and NorthPole.com. Most of these services will provide near-immediate responses.
Create a Customized Video Message
If you really want to go the full high-tech route, there’s no better choice than Portable North Pole. They allow you to provide some basic information about your child, upload photos, and have them included and mentioned in a personalized video message from Santa and his elves.
There’s a free version, and also paid options that allow for a much greater amount of customization and detail. There’s both a browser-based option and an app to make things easy. And, if you opt for any of the paid choices, know that you’re doing something good for others, too, in the spirit of the season. 5% of all sales go toward donations for children’s hospitals around the globe.
Give Santa a Call
Your child can also call santa while he and the elves work in their North Pole workshop. He usually won’t be available to answer calls directly, buy your child can listen to pre-recorded messages from Santa, and leave a voice message for him with all their Christmas gift wishes. This service can be reached at 951-262-3062 (long distance charges may apply).
On Christmas Eve, there are several ways for you and your family to keep tabs on the big man himself. Google offers a Santa Tracker website that tracks him in real time as he travels the globe delivering presents. There are also a bunch of games and fun diversions to pass the time on the site.
You can also access the original Santa Tracker, maintained by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), which has been in operation for over 60 years. They use their network of sky-monitoring satellites and radar, normally monitoring for aircraft, to keep watch on Santa’s magic ride through the night.
In addition to tracking, NORAD also provides a live stream of Santa on December 24, so you can watch as he makes his preparations to load up the sleigh and take off. There are also “Santa Cams” available throughout the world, where you might catch a glimpse of him as he makes his deliveries. NORAD’s site also has fun games, music, and other content to help pass the time while you anxiously await your presents.
You can also call the NORAD Santa Tracker hotline at 1-877-HI-NORAD to talk to the people who are operating the service. There’s also a NORAD Tracks Santa Claus app for tablets and smart phones.
They maintain a Facebook page as well, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their Santa tracking efforts. They’re all fun things to do on Christmas Eve, while you munch on some cookies, and patiently wait to hear the pawing of reindeer on the roof…