It’s that time of the year again, and Google’s Santa Tracker is getting loads of traffic as kids around the globe check in to see what’s new at the North Pole and track Santa before his big night. This year, the Google Search team has added a few easter eggs into your results when you search for “Christmas”, and apparently, they will vary based on where you are in the world.
When I did this, a cute little present dropped in from the top of the screen right next to the words “Christmas Day”, and upon clicking it, I was taken directly to the Santa Tracker, but not before the jolly elf in a face mask flew up my screen in a hot air balloon. Oh, and a nice family decorating a Christmas tree appeared on the right side of the search bar too.
In a new Keyword blog post, Google bagged an exclusive interview with the Jolly guy himself and he took time to share the history of Christmas across different cultures as well as to highlight some of the most popular holiday tools that Google has created over the past few years. For example, the Blob Opera has been a big hit with kids and adults alike, and Google Arts and Culture even has a Christmas-themed coloring book you can work on.
Additionally, the “North Pole Newscast” returns this year, so by simply asking Google Assistant “What’s going on at the North Pole?”, you can get a fun little report each day from the elf named Dimplesticks. You can do this on your Chromebook too if you have Assistant enabled, of course, so give it a try! By calling this up, I was made aware that Santa’s takeoff video dropped today. It shows him being dragged out of bed and prepared for the trip by his elves before speeding off into the night in his eco-friendly sleigh to deliver presents. Very clever, Google, very clever.
As a reminder, you can have your kids interact with Santa tonight by saying “Hey Google, Call Santa” from any smart home device with Assistant baked in. Upon doing so, they will be greeted by the big fella and be able to have a conversation with him and even help the elves create a holiday song.
As of right now, I’m not seeing any new games or interactive experiences on the Santa Tracker for kids to enjoy if they’ve already played last year’s content to death. There’s still plenty to tinker with, and it’s fun to revisit the animations and songs each year, so if you have children, be sure to let them install it on their Chromebooks by clicking the “Install” button at the top-right of the Chrome browser’s Omnibox or search bar! Lastly, you should definitely say “Hey Google, track Santa”, or “Hey Google, where’s Santa?” to give the kiddos something fun to do while you wrap the last of the presents.