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Apps to video talk to Santa

Standing in line to talk with Santa Claus is a long-standing tradition, but there are different ways kids can interact with him without parents having to battle stuff like parking and crowds.

They’re apps that allow for video and phone calls with kids and are very popular this time of year, as PC Mike Wendland reports.

Santa Video Call and Tracker is the go-to app for many when it comes to connecting with the big man before Christmas. With the help of parents, info about kids is put into the app and Santa “knows” about them when engaged in a video call, which can be recorded and shared. There’s also an option of calling Santa— even when he’s on his sleigh. When Christmas Eve arrives, the app allows for tracking of Santa’s travels, too. The app is $4.99 for iOS and Android.

Video Call Santa is a free app that offers a ton of options for creating a personalized call from him. Parents input a child’s name, choose from one of the available scripts, and indicate type of call — naughty, nice, and so on. Parents can choose to have the calls take place immediately or schedule them. Video chats are recorded so parents can access later or even share with others. The app is available for iOS and Android.

Call Santa is a great tool for parents to use for encouraging and rewarding good behavior. The app allows parents to read scripts in advance with pauses that allow for them to talk and appear to be having a conversation with Santa. Scripts touch on responsibilities like homework, brushing teeth and going to bed on time, just to name a few. The app is 99 cents for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.