Santa Tracking Goes High-Tech It’s almost Christmas, and if you have small kids, you know what that means: prepping for the arrival of a jolly man in a red suit and his confusingly named reindeer. Some of us may remember spending Christmas Eve curled on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa as radio reports tracked Santa’s trip around the globe. But these days, kiddos have traditions, and a translation app to “learn the Santa lingo from around the world.” When the eve of the big day finally comes, Google promises a showcase of Santa’s “dashboard, the technology that powers his sleigh during his around-the-world journey.” Featuring “the latest and greatest … in sleigh engineering,” the app displays a Google Maps window that tracks each of Santa’s stops, gives status updates from Old Saint Nick, and tells kids how far he is from their city. It’s a colorful, fun adventure for the whole family.
Of course, Google’s not the only kid on the Santa-tracking block. There’s also NORAD Tracks Santa, operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the same organization that tracks nuclear missiles for the government. Similar to Google, noradsanta.org includes a variety of fun games and activities leading up to Christmas. But unlike Google, NORAD has a dedicated Santa-tracking app for your phone, where you can see a 3-D view of Santa’s location during his trip. The app also features videos, so you and your little ones can see clips of Santa flying around major landmarks and world cities. Just don’t stay up too late watching them. You don’t want Santa to skip over your house!
gotten a little more high-tech in their search for up-to-date, GPS-driven Kringle updates. First, there’s the Google Santa Tracker (santatracker.google.com), a full-fledged holiday hub for your browser powered by Google Maps, including, of course, an up- to-the-minute GPS tracker for the big man. The application arrived in 2004, and it’s been updated every year since. During the countdown to Christmas, there’s a colorfully animated advent calendar of sorts, where buildings around Santa’s village “thaw out” and reveal a host of fun games and activities. There’s even a section titled “Santa Tracker for Educators,” which ’Tis the season for hot beverages! Sure, Americans love coffee all year long, but as the holidays roll around, hot chocolate sales boom. There’s something satisfying about sweet, rich chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. It’s a classic combination, but who says the classics can’t be updated? Broaden your hot chocolate horizons this holiday season with some truly unique recipes! Aztec Hot Chocolate This spicy drink pays homage to those original chocoholics, the Aztecs. Cacao beans are native to Mesoamerica, and the ancient Aztec loved to grind the beans and serve them in a bitter, frothy liquid. In this recipe, dark chocolate, chili pepper, and cinnamon blend into a rich treat, but you’ll also have access to a couple ingredients the Aztecs didn’t have: sugar and milk. Learn how to make the perfect winter drink at theendlessmeal.com/spicy-aztec-hot- chocolate. includes kid-friendly coding games, information on international holiday
Unusual Hot Chocolate Recipes to Enjoy This Holiday Season
Raspberry Hot Chocolate Tired of the dreary, gray winter weather? Is sounds like you could use a dash of sweet pink! Real raspberry puree gives this drink a much-needed burst of fruity delight, especially when you swap out the usual milk chocolate with creamy white chocolate. Toss a few raspberries on top, and you’re sure to be enchanted by the colors and the flavor. Check out the recipe at sugarhero.com/ raspberry-white-hot-chocolate/. Frozen Hot Chocolate If your winter wonderland view is less than snowy, you might be craving a cooler hot chocolate beverage. It’s your standard hot chocolate recipe, but it replaces the pot and stove with some ice and a blender! Yes, you can still top it with whipped cream and sprinkles. Find the full recipe at centercutcook.com/frozen-hot-chocolate/.
Whether you’re a casual cocoa drinker or a true chocolate connoisseur, there’s an incredible recipe waiting for you. The best part? You can keep trying different hot chocolates until you find your new favorite.
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