At this time of the year, the internet can spread joy, festive cheer – and get you out of a tricky situation. Here is our guide to a safe cyber Christmas, with a little help from the elves on the web.
1. A letter to Santa. We don’t all have the luxury of a traditional chimney to fast forward our little darlings’ demands direct to Father Christmas. If you are challenged in the chimney department, you can encourage your little ones to post their little lists (or very, very big lists) to Santa using the Royal Mail. If they are sent by Saturday 6th December they will even get a reply before Christmas day. Just send them to: Santa, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ.
Alternatively, you could reply yourself, and as with most things Christmassy, the internet can help. Several websites provide free downloadable ‘letter to Santa’ templates and ideas on how best to reply. If your imagination won’t stretch to replying ‘in character’ there is one already written for you.
2. Christmas-e-cards. If you are looking for something a bit different, prefer the green option, have left it too late – or your inner Scrooge is keeping expenditure to a minimum, sending an animated e-card is a great way to add that extra bit of Christmas magic to someone’s day.
4. Christmas songs and stories. Nothing better for getting into the Christmas spirit than reading a Christmas story or singing a carol in the lead up to the big day.
5. Armchair shopping. It almost goes without saying that the best way of shopping is to avoid the crowds and the cold by shopping online with your feet up, a mince pie and glass of mulled wine in hand. Tempting, eh? But go on easy on the vino – here are some cautionary tales of online shopping exploits when under the influence! And a second word of caution. When buying online, make sure that you are using secure websites and, when registering with new websites, that you select a secure password.
6. ‘Appy Christmas. Check out these top Christmas apps, with tons of top tips, free gifts and ways to save money this Christmas.
7. Get wrapped up. Here are some top tips how to make your pressie wrapping extra special and some tricks of the trade for that odd shaped gift. And, if you need some extra time to get those last Christmas gifts wrapped, keep the children entertained with some Christmas games and activities.
8. Help Santa on his way. When Santa is on his sleigh, make sure he visits your house with a Santa’s visit application form. The children can give Santa some pointers on where to where to park his sleigh and where their stockings will be hanging.
Phew, the work is done. It only remains for us to say “Have a Happy Christmas and our Very Best Wishes for the New Year!”