Illustration by Ramóna Udvardi

Whether they’re just old enough to understand the magic of Santa Claus or are in need of some extra proof of his existence, your kids will love a message from the big guy himself.


Parents strive to treat their families to amazing experiences. Catapult, in partnership with Intel, is the field guide for the modern mom, offering tech-based at-home activities that will build lasting memories.


For the holidays, we’ve rounded up the best Santa videos, apps, and messages that are fun for the whole family. And they are free unless you want special upgrades. A couple of these even have practical uses, like keeping kids on the “nice list” or bribing them into bed on Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays!

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Leave a Message: With a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho!” at the beginning of his voicemail, Santa asks kids to record their wishes and holiday cheer after the beep. It’s the perfect way to find out your child’s biggest Christmas desires, and you can pass the phone around to the whole family so they can share their gift requests too. There’s also a reminder to “be good, and don’t forget to listen to your parents.”

Santa Calling: This app delivers a phone call from Santa with personalized information about your child. You input specifics like name, age, and interests. Then, Santa will incorporate those into his call — and an in-app upgrade can make these extra-tailored to your brood. The kids can also send texts to the North Pole and receive instant responses.

Video from the North Pole: Kids will want to watch their unique video from Santa over and over again. The free version (only available at specific times, so sign up to receive email notifications) includes a mention of their name, photos of them in his Big Book, and a few specifics from their lives. For $5, you can choose from a variety of video themes, and Santa will go into even more detail—perfect for the little skeptics who need extra convincing.

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The Night Before Christmas Call: If your kids are too wired to sleep on Christmas Eve, Santa or a magical elf might need to place a phone call to your home. The call starts with, “Wait a minute, shouldn’t you be in bed already?” and goes on to say that there’ll be no presents coming until they’re asleep. Of course, Santa also double-checks that the milk and cookies are out, so have those ready.

Proof He Was Here: Sometimes, even talking to Santa on the phone and having him mention you in a video aren’t enough for a non-believing kid. But with iCaughtSanta you can upload a photo of your living room where Santa will be added — proof positive that the big guy himself did indeed deliver.

Melissa Walker is a mom of two, a magazine writer, and the author of 9 novels for young adults and pre-teen readers. She grew up in NC and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Intel and Studio@Gizmodo.

Intel, Intel Core and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.