(CBS Detroit) It’s almost Christmas and with a little help from technology you can take your Santa experience to the next level. Several companies are on a mission to spread holiday cheer with free holiday apps for your smartphone. Track Santa, create videos with elves, have the big guy give you a call, and personalized e-cards are just a few of the things you can do.

To help your kids get into the spirit, here are five holiday apps to enjoy.

  • NORAD Santa Tracker: Dating back to 1955, NORAD Tracks Santa is the longest running interactive Santa Claus experience for kids and adults. Every December the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) launches their annual Santa tracking event. Kids and parents alike can enjoy interactive games, videos, information and much more – let’s not fail to mention that everyone can track Santa as he makes his way around the world. Available in Google Play Store and iTunes.
  • Message From Santa! This Christmas, amaze your children by requesting a free personalized phone call or video message from Santa Claus! Parents, use this app together with your children to encourage good behavior all year long. Available in Google Play Store and iTunes.
  • Elf Yourself: The bestselling app of the Holiday Season is here with great dances and features! The annual holiday tradition allows you to “elf” yourself and ​star in​ ​a series of ​personalized video​s​ featuring your ​face​ on dancing elves. ​​Upload up to five photos of friends​ and ​family from ​Facebook​ or your camera​. ​Then select a dance and the app automatically generates your custom Elf Yourself video you can share to social media like Facebook, YouTube, and others. Available in Google Play Store and iTunes.
  • JibJab E-Cards: JibJab offers a similar Christmas app to Elf Yourself but has a wide variety of video eCards to choose from. Instead of only being able to superimpose your face on Santa’s elves, JibJab lets users create hilarious video eCards for the Christmas season – become a dancing reindeer or a rapping Santa Claus with one of their many video eCard templates and then share the end result with the world. Available in Google Play and iTunes.
  • Catch A Character: Show your kids proof that Santa was in their home with Catch A Character — an app that allows parents to create free photos using images of their own home, along with stock images of Santa Claus. Santa can be shown placing presents beneath the Christmas tree, checking his list, or even looking shocked to be caught on camera. To help parents keep holiday magic going year-round, the app also offers similar photos of the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Available in Google Play and iTunes.

© 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


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