One holiday mystery surpasses questions about Santa, the North Pole and flying reindeer.
What’s so funny about seeing your head on an elf’s body?
The thought enters your mind when your co-workers crowd around a laptop screen, doubled over in laughter.
You join the group, only to learn that today’s lunchtime diversion is a computerized version of your boss in an elf getup. Dancing to disco music.
Holiday website ElfYourself strikes again.
When it comes to the Christmas season, some online traditions have become just as prevalent as the face-to-face interactions we value.
An emphasis on good cheer brings a greater tolerance for memory-clogging electronic greetings.
Plus, the Internet has made Santa even more accessible. Fans can not only send him digital letters, but also track his geographic progress on Christmas Eve.
Want in on the action?
These five holiday website recommendations encompass everything from Santa’s electronic mailbox to photos of cats assembling a Christmas tree.
This website offers plenty of diversions for Santa fans, ranging from an animated reindeer barn to an elf clubhouse complete with a dancing Santa and interactive ElfChat.
Go inside Santa’s mailroom, where you can send a digital letter to Santa. The site says Santa usually takes about three days to respond, so craft your letter early.
Also of note? The Elf Pal Academy, which includes a printable Good Deeds Calendar.
The NORAD Santa Tracker attracts lots of visitors on Christmas Eve, when it tracks Santa’s journey around the world.
Visit the website now and you can check out Santa’s Village -- an interactive online universe where you can games like tic tac toe. Your opponent? A snowman.
This website promises that Santa will respond to his e-mails quickly, so I couldn’t resist giving it a trial run. I drafted my letter using the provided template, and Santa followed through on his promise.
“Mrs. Claus will be so excited that you want shoes for Christmas! She just loves designing and making cool new shoes,” Santa wrote in a multi-paragraph letter.
Don’t worry, Fido fans. The site also lets you submit a pet’s letter to Rudolph.
Sure, the History Channel’s website doesn’t sound as flashy as Santa’s Village or an Elf Pal Academy. But it’s a good destination for a comprehensive look at the history behind popular Christmas traditions.
The website offers a series of videos that profile everything from Christmas light technology to the life of a Christmas tree. The clips are short and easy to follow, even for younger viewers.
This list wouldn’t be complete without an online destination that generates deep reflections about seasonal generosity and good cheer.
Fortunately, I found photos of cats setting up an artificial Christmas tree.
The website (www.fluffytails.ca/christmas.asp) includes a step-by-step process with photos of cats not only inserting branches, but sniffing and tasting them “for freshness.”
It doesn’t make sense, but you somehow end up abandoning heavier concerns in the name of a good laugh.
Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.