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My Top Five Free Christmas Apps for Kids

It's hard to believe it's December 21st and Christmas is just four days away. Hopefully you are done shopping, the tree is decorated, presents are wrapped, cookies are baked and you can enjoy these last few days before Christmas with your family. OK, I confess, we have about half of those done.

Christmas is an exciting time of year for children and now with smartphones and tablets in nearly every household, fun apps have been created for more holiday excitement for the little ones. Here are five FREE apps I recommend to download for fun with your children. Merry Christmas!

1) NORAD Tracks Santa Claus - I remember the excitement as a kid wondering where Santa Claus was on Christmas Eve. Now, with the NORAD Santa Claus Tracker you can see exactly where on the globe Santa and his reindeer are before he comes down your chimney. This app has been available since 2004 and there are other Santa tracker apps out there but we've always used NORAD (another good option is Where is Santa Lite).

2) Video Call Santa - Want to FaceTime with Santa? You can with the Video Santa app. This is a pre-recorded Santa clip but he gives your children enough time to respond to the questions he asks them. Examples are: What's your name? Have you been naughty or nice? What would you like for Christmas? Videos are recorded for playback and shareable on Social Media.

3) Elf Yourself - You can create up to five elves (even use your pet) by snapping a new photo or using your camera roll. After that, let the app do the rest of the work as it creates a hilarious video of your face on elf bodies with five different dance options.

4) Emoji Added - Christmas Emoji - Everyone loves emojis these days and now you can add Christmas emojis to your text messages with this app. Examples include: dancing Santa Claus, reindeer, gingerbread, candy cane, bells, mistletoe, snowman, etc. (Note this is an iPhone app, but similar Christmas emoji apps are available on Android as well).

5) Message from Santa! - With Message from Santa you can receive a voicemail, phone call or text message from Mr. Claus himself. To make a phone call you will have create an account or sign-in with Facebook or Google.

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