The Best Ways to Get a Hold of Santa

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – At this point, it might be a little too late to send a snail-mail letter to Santa Claus and expect it to reach the North Pole by the time he starts his rounds on Christmas Eve. But if you absolutely, positively need to get a hold of Old Saint Nick between now and the big day, the Internet provides a few clever ways to get in touch.

Call him with Google Voice. Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) has once again set up a voice mail inbox for Santa, which you can reach by phone or Google Voice by calling 855-34-SANTA. As you might expect, he’s too busy preparing for Christmas to take your call (“I’m studying my Google Map to make sure I don’t get lost,” he explains), but your child can leave a voice mail. We’re an even bigger fan of the “Send a call from Santa” feature that Google is also offering right now. Put in your own name and phone number, the contact info for your intended recipient and a few other details about what he or she would like to get for Christmas, and the service will automatically call up him or her with a personalized message. The “Mad Libs”-style interface can make for some amusing messages, and we recommend trying it out now with a friend or co-worker in need of some holiday cheer.

Send an email. If Santa can visit billions of children in a single night, you better believe he knows how to use email. Have your child send him an email via EmailSanta.com, which lets your kid fill out a simple form with his or her name, location and preferred gifts. Santa will read the letter and respond with his characteristic quickness. And parents will be glad to know that he doesn’t make any big promises, noting in his response that one of his elves can be a bit clumsy and occasionally screw up a gift request.

Track him on your smartphone. Want to meet him in person? Santa has long drawn the attention of the U.S. government, with the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracking the jolly man in his travels around the globe. This year is no exception, and now you can actually use your phone to see where Santa is on the government’s radar. Just download the free iPhone or Android app, and when he gets to your area you can be ready.

Matt Brownell is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at matthew.brownell@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @Brownellorama.

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