Texting the North Pole? I say, Bah Humbug!

As a child, I always wanted to stay awake long enough on Christmas Eve to watch the jolly man come down the chimney. I never saw Santa, but every year I’d write him letters in school and he’d call my house from the North Pole. I could never figure out how he knew my phone number – it was magical.

Parents everywhere signed up for a service that arranged for “Santa” to call their home and talk to their children. I’ll always remember how excited I was to hear his voice and to tell him what special gifts were on my Christmas list. Some sites like, SantaSpeaks.com (http://www.santaspeaks.com/), still make it possible for kids to talk to “The Real Santa,” but times are changing. Boston.com recently reported that AT&T customers are opting to connect with the big guy via text messages. Do you think children will experience the same thrill of hearing from Santa if it’s in the form of a text?

I think not. When Santa called, you had a conversation. You let him know that you were a good kid all year, did well in school and if he was lucky, gave him a hint about what kind of cookies you’d be leaving him by the tree. AT&T’s text service is different. A child sends a text to “Santa” and a response is kicked back at random by a computer. The responses are kept vague; with jokes about being too fat to fit in the chimney or that he’s checking his inventory. Not very personal, eh?

Most children stop believing in Santa Claus in the 3rd or 4th grade. Isn’t that a little young to be texting the North Pole? Will a text take away from the magic of the holiday? I think so, but I’d love to hear other opinions.  

Contributed by Jena Coletti.  Follow her @jmcoletti