Google is getting into the holiday spirit once again with its "Send A Call From Santa" website. Last year Google gave jolly old Saint Nick his very own Google Voice phone number (855-34-SANTA), that people could call from their Google Voice accounts (or regular phones).
Santa's got the same phone number this year, so you can call up the North Pole and leave him a message (he can't pick up, because, well…he's pretty busy these days). This is a great tech-savvy way to get your kids' Christmas lists to Santa--instead of having them write it down, just have them dictate it through a VoIP service to Santa's voicemail! Very Christmas 2.0.
You can also send your child (or someone else) a personalized call from Santa using Google's Send A Call From Santa website. Just head on over to sendacallfromsanta.com, fill in some info about the person you want to send a call to (such as name, your relationship, their favorite food, etc.), and they'll get a cool, personalized call from Santa himself.
While you can make the personalized call "kid-friendly," you can also make it funny if you want to send it to your friends. For example, you can have Santa refer to your buddy as your "brother from another mother" who likes to eat "chicken and waffles" before Santa "polishes his rims."
Google naturally sticks some shameless self-promotion in the choices: you can say your friend wants an "Android phone," "better Google Voice number," or "New Gmail Theme" for Christmas. One of the "favorite food" options is Ice Cream Sandwich--a nod to Google's anticipated Android refresh.
It doesn't have to be a Christmas call, either--there are options for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, as well as non-denominational wintry holidays.
Google is also celebrating the holiday season with a little search trick: search for "Christmas" on Google and you'll be treated to a colorful string of Christmas lights above your search results. Search for "Hanukkah," and you'll be treated to a string of Hanukkah lights. Nothing happens if you search for "Kwanzaa."
On top of all that, Google promises a "bonus surprise" coming out in a few days. We're not sure what it is, but it'll be on the Send A Call From Santa website, and it should arrive shortly…