The big day is almost here, making this the perfect time to start tracking Santa, checking in Father Christmas, and playing some holiday games to get you in the spirit of the season. These seven options can help you place a phone call to Santa, track his movement across the globe as he delivers presents, and even share some holiday cheer.
Google Santa Tracker
Google's Santa Tracker has tons of games and a way to make a gif to share with friends
Google again has its Santa Tracker up and running. And as you're reading this, the big man is already on his way delivering presents somewhere in the world. Google's Santa Tracker is actually a winter village, with a countdown of when he will start his ride, along with games to play.
You can decorate Santa's beard, design your own Elf, play games like Gumball Tile, do some going, and create your own 3D winter village with trees, presents and ice blocks ala Minecraft, which Google will turn into a gif that you can download a share. Our favorite? Trying to build a snowman forces you to tap into some physics, a learning moment tied with holiday fun: excellent.
Google’s North Pole updates
North Pole Google
You can also pull up some updates on the Nest Home displays and Google Home devices, by just asking, "Hey Google, What's happening in the North Pole." An Elf named Dimple Stocks will read some updates as if from a radio newscast. The elf will also suggest you head over to Google Santa Tracker.
You can place a call to Santa too
There are two ways to get a call in to Santa through both Amazon and Google's voice assistants.
Google has a way to call Santa just by asking aloud. The feature works on any Google Home, or Nest Home, device, and also on Google Assistant on your phone. You just, "Hey Google, Let's call Santa." Google will make an old-fashioned call to a switchboard and you're connected to Santa who will connect.
Asking Alexa to call Santa, and you'll actually get connected to Amazon's Christmas Cheer Hotline. Santa isn't able to get to the phone (he's busy) but the voice assistant connects you to holiday carolers. Alexa will also suggest you download a Skill, Calling Santa, which can be added through the Alexa app on your smart device.
If you ask Siri to call Santa, it will respond with a variety of responses, including, "I can't. But don't worry. I'll put in a good word."
Is Santa real?
You can ask Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri if Santa is real
The voice assistants don't give away any secrets if asked that crucial question. If you ask Google Assistant if Santa is real, you get a varied level of responses including, "If someone gives me a present, I wouldn't ask any questions."
Siri does offer a few spirited answers to questions about Santa. Ask Siri if Santa is real, and it will say, 'That's something I'm not allowed to disclose. I men…disclose."
As for Alexa's holiday spirit, ask it if Santa is real, and the voice assistant will say (but only say), "All I know is that someone has been eating all my cookies."
Have you been naughty or nice?
Ask Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant if you're Santa's Naughty or Nice list
Want to know if you're on Santa's naughty or nice list? Ask Google Assistant will respond, "You're as nice as a gingerbread cookie dunked in hot cocoa."
Alexa will say, 'I"m not magic like Merlin. Only Santa knows for certain."
And Siri can't help with this request, responding instead with, "Sorry I wasn't able to find anything."
Alexa’s Holiday Spirit
You can get Alexa to wish you a Happy Holidays
You can get Alexa to send a Happy Holidays wish across all of your Alexa devices through the Alexa app. You can also enable a Skill, Norad Track Santa, but you'l need to give permission through the Alexa app.
You can also wish Alexa a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and Happy Hanukah and get the voice assistant to wish you both as well.
NORAD Santa Tracker
This is the original Santa Tracker of them all, courtesy of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is the NORAD Santa Tracker with games, music courtesy of the US Air Force Academy Band playing in the background and of course games, like Flying Santa, where you need to collect all the gifts Santa will deliver to children.
There's a wonderful section for Secret Santa Files, which goes into the history of how NORAD — and its predecessor, Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) got into the Santa tracking business.
It started with a newspaper advertising misprint, which accidentally published the number for CONAD's hotline for a way for children to reach Santa in 1955. Then head of operations at the time had his staff actually check the radar for children every time they called. And the tradition stuck.
GearBrain's Best Tech Toys for The Holidays - Part One www.youtube.com
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