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3 Tech Tools for a Happy, Bright Holiday

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I couldn’t wait to get the Sears catalog when I was a little kid.

In my preteen years, I moved up to Target fliers that I waited for with as much anticipation. In those pages I’d find dozens of gifts I wanted under the Christmas tree or stuffed in my stocking on Dec. 25. (I estimate 98.9% actually made it there.)

That air of anticipation made magic out of ordinary catalog pages.

Holiday Anticipation, 2016 style, is a little different. My kids can make wish lists online. Forget visions of sugarplums. Children sneak a tablet into bed and track Santa’s progress online. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could check up on St. Nick on Snapchat.

Even before Thanksgiving, Christmastime seems to be here. So why not get a jump start on the season? Here are three online holiday tools for those who just can’t wait for Christmas to get here.

Online Wish Lists

I circled the NFL jackets and Star Wars ships I wanted in catalogs. Kids now can establish a registry, as you might for a wedding. A child can share his or her wish list through Facebook – which increases the chances a family member will pick up the  Wow Wee Coji with Remote at the top of the list.

Giftster| For desktop or mobile, register the whole family for gift-giving perfection.

Toys R Us | Sign up on the toy giant’s site for all the toys.

WishMindr | It’s the app that lets you add gifts from any site – right on your mobile device.

Santa Online

For generations, kids hand-scribbled their wish list to Santa. Today, they can fill out an online form. promises the Jolly Old Elf will reply to letters submitted immediately. (Now that’s customer care). Kids can also color Christmas pages on the site.

NORAD Tracks Santa | Starting Dec. 1, check out St. Nick’s progress in his global expedition.

Reindeer Cam | Watch Chris Kringle feed the reindeer three times a day.

Capture the Magic | It’s the place to get pics of Santa in your living room. How? Magic. (Parents send photos in of living space as it will appear on Christmas Eve. In return, they get a photo of Santa making his rounds in the room.)

 Appy Christmas

Parents herd the kids in to watch Charlie Brown shows for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why? Their parents herded them in to watch Charlie Brown shows for Thanksgiving and Christmas, that’s why. Now, there’s an app for that.

A Charlie Brown Christmas ($5.99, iTunes) | It’s interactive!

Christmas Crystal Ball (Google Play, free) | It’s a virtual snow globe for your mobile device.

Red Stamp (Google Play, iTunes, free) | Design Christmas cards to have printed and sent.

These online resources can help kick off your digital Christmas. You’re on your own for the eggnog.