I’ve been surprising my kids with personalized Santa videos since before they knew holidays equaled presents. It’s so satisfying to watch their faces light up when Santa says their name, and knows key details about their lives, with photos to prove it.

When we first discovered the Portable North Pole, we all fell in love. And now their revised website and new app can help keep the magic alive from anywhere you are.

The original site helps you put together a free, customized video from Santa for your kids, and is really well done. This year is a little more streamlined than previous years, but with Santa still “magically” knowing just what your kid wants, what grade he’s in, whether he’s been naughty or nice, and pulling out a book with your child’s name and photo from his library to prove it.

It really will blow your child’s mind.

personalized video from santa
personalized video from santa
personalized video from santa

One big change–Santa comes to you from “the elves’ ice palace” only, as opposed to choosing from three different locations in previous years; all this means an astute older child will go, “hey! This looks exactly the same as the one my sister had.” You might consider showing the kids their videos at separate times.

The other big change this year is that Portable North Pole has added a $2.99 app (for iPad, iPhone, and Android) that does everything the website does–and more.

The personalized videos are still high-quality–and downloadable–with places to upload up to 5 photos of your child and home, info about your kid’s character, her favorite animal, and, of course, a pic of your child herself. And Santa even hosts his own video Q&A with the kids, answering the pressing questions they really must know, like: how does Santa deliver all those presents? Does he eat the cookies we leave for him? And what on earth does Santa do during the summertime?.There are also some basic puzzles and games, plus a countdown-to-Christmas clock. Though the best part: you can use the app to make actual phone calls to your kids from Santa should you be willing to purchase call credits. $2.99 gets you 2 phone calls.

Parents will be reassured that there’s a password-protected lock on the personalized video part–you know, where you input your kids’ names and photos. Because if your children are anything like mine, they are as good at discovering things on the iPad as they are at guessing where the Christmas presents are hidden. Lexi

Get in the holiday spirit with personalized videos (and more) from Santa with the Portable North Pole website–free to stream the video, or $6.99 to download an HD quality video, with 5% going to children’s hospitals around the US and western Europe.

Also download the Portable Northpole app for iOS for $2.99 or Portable North Pole for Android at Google Play, which includes free download of the video you create.