Three (and a half) Great Christmas Sites
At this festive time of year, EB and TC like to do festive things, like reminding everyone that Christmas is coming. It seems each year, Christmas comes and goes so quickly. So, before Christmas has come and gone, we’d like to (hopefully) add to your Christmas joy by sharing some unique and fun Christmas websites. You’ll want to bookmark one or more of these sites if you have kids or grandkids, or if you’re like us, kids at heart.
These sites are not listed in any particular order – so the first one listed is not necessarily the best and so forth and so on.
Without boring you to tears, I am going to get started now.
If you have kids or grandkids, or if you still believe in Santa Claus, as I do, then you’ll want to visit this site on Christmas Eve.
All I want for Christmas is for EB to quit flogging me.
OK seriously – this is from the NORAD site by the official NORAD people, who you don’t want to mess with because they have their fingers on the buttons that launch nukes. Don’t write and criticize them.
For over 60 years “…NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa…”
We would write an intro for this site, but since the developer of the site is so verbose, we’re just going to let him entertain you.
WhyChristmas?com is one of the largest Christmas information sites on the web and answers your Christmas questions! It was launched in November 2000 by me, James Cooper a Christmas loving web designer from the UK
I’d always loved Christmas (yes, I’m a very big kid!) and had wondered about the ‘whys’ of Christmas; such as why do we have Santa/Father Christmas, why we have Christmas Trees and send Christmas Cards to each other?!
The site was originally created for some friends who were teachers in a local school. Knowing that I was a web designer, they came to me complaining that they couldn’t find a site that was child friendly and “wasn’t trying to sell the kids something”! So with the help of ‘Bruce the Spruce’ (the site’s Christmas Tree logo!) I made a little site for them to use with their classes.
The site has always had a ‘no ads’ policy (although I’ve had plenty of offers!). As the site has become more and more popular the hosting costs have also increased! If you really like the site, you can help to keep the site online.
As a Christian, the most important part of Christmas to me is the Christmas Story, when we remember and celebrate that Jesus was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.
I’m also an all round ‘Christmas Nut’ listening to Christmas Carols and songs throughout the year! And to really get me into the Christmas spirit, I have to watch ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’! Through researching and creating the site, I’ve also become a Christmasologist…”
It’s really a fun site for adults and kids – get on your sleigh and hitch up your reindeer and…
I love it! Another verbose developer! I’m on a roll – and so are you. Here to tell you all about Northpole.com is the developer himself…
Northpole.com celebrates the holidays with dozens of activities for children and families. A child-safe, award-winning holiday site, northpole.com promotes a traditional look at Santa’s Secret Village at the North Pole, but with high-tech, creative features to keep children and adults entertained—all for free.
The site opens with a panoramic view of Santa’s Secret Village?, the fanciful home of Santa, his elves, and reindeer. Visitors click on different ‘buildings’ to enter, leading to a variety of activities or stories. Buildings include Santa’s Mailroom, Santa’s Workshop, Gift Shop, Craft Cottage, Elf Clubhouse, Santa’s Reindeer Barn, Santa’s Den, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, North pole Weather Station, Elf Pal Academy, and Toy Shop.
Letters to Santa arrive by the thousands each day during the holiday season and are processed in Santa’s Mailroom. There, children have a quick, secure, and certain means to write Santa AND get a free, keepsake-quality reply letter within days. In Santa’s Workshop, children can read short creative stories about elves and toys. In the Reindeer Barn, the stories are about Raymond the playful reindeer. All stories on northpole.com are original, and many offer a gentle and upbeat lesson for children. Personalized, original stories await children in Santa’s Den and are created by the child (or parent) answering a few short questions, such as the child’s first name, hometown, and a favorite activity. These answers are woven into the story to personalize it for the child, and pages can be printed out as a keepsake or gift.
After discovering that teachers were using the site in classrooms to teach computer skills, reading, and writing, site creators added the Elf Pal Academy, offering mind-challenging games, puzzles, mazes, math riddles, an interactive coloring book, even Santa’s favorite Rubik’s cube. A favorite is the Good Deeds Calendar that children can print and record their good behavior for Santa.
Need a special recipe for the holidays? Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen has thousands! Also, at northpole.com there’s ElfChat?, animated holiday postcards, and an ‘elf-run’ weather station that gives updated North Pole weather reports.
While December brings the largest numbers of visitors, the site receives millions of visits year-round. What began as a venture into Internet technology has grown into a truly happy holiday tradition for many families all over the world. Whether it’s tradition wrapped in technology, or technology wrapped in tradition, a visit to northpole.com is a holiday gift…”
It is with bittersweet emotions that we mention the site that started it all. From our rise to the top as the biggest stationery site on the web and one of the top 500 websites in the world to the demise of stationery with the introduction of Windows 7 (with no email program) to our current incarnation – geared to helping people all over the world with their Windows computers – we’ve seen the web grow and change so much.
There’s a lot of innocence and naivete in our first collaborative effort. Looking back, it looks so simple and out-of-date. And whenever we revisit our first Web site, it brings tears and smiles. You’ll notice the midi (music) that used to play in the background does not play in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or other browsers. However, you’ll see that it downloads the small music file in the background. They are all beautiful Christmas midis, feel free to save them.
If you look at the bottom of the pages, you’ll see the copyright date is 1998-2000. Looking back is bittersweet. It hardly seems like it’s been 23 years since we built our first Web site.