It's 1 December 2023 and, based on the number of lights twinkling around my estate already (short of thinking I now live in a funfair), that appears to mean only one thing to most people: Christmas is coming. Yes, the countdown is on, and my favourite Google site of each December is now live, bringing with it lots of Santa games and fun.
Having opened my first Advent calendar door – alas, it's chocolate, not a Lego Advent calendar this year – I came online to work and couldn't resist the temptation to check out Google's Santa Tracker. The annual site follows Mr Clause's whereabouts when 'delivery day' on 25 December comes around (I mean presents, not divine delivery) – except this year there's loads more to do on the site.
As we roll into a frozen weekend (here in the UK anyway), those festive senses are tingling and, well, who wants to go outside anyway? Spend a little time tinkering with the Santa Tracker website, whether solo or with your kids, and delve into a world of entertaining videos – from Santa on holiday, to his miffed-off reindeer wanting to get ready – and minigames.
As you can see from the collection of minigames screengrabs in the gallery above, there's a whole host of things to do once you go down the Google Santa Tracker website rabbit hole. From launching presents onto boats to grab a high score, to a keyboard-controlled jetpack elf catching goodies from the sky, or matching pairs behind festive windows, a lot of thought, time and effort has gone into the Santa Tracker site this year.
My favourite of the lot though? A Where's Wally-style 'Search For Santa', in which you have four 'worlds' and multiple characters to locate in each. You can zoom in and out, gain hints if you're struggling, and see how fast you can solve each of them. To avoid getting no work done I'm saving the remaining ones for this weekend.
There's a lot to think about when it comes to the holiday period and Christmas time – whatever you celebrate, if anything or nothing at all – as it's a time to think about those around us, from family and friends and beyond. That may even mean buying nice gifts, which is why T3 has rounded-up our picks under £100 that tech-lovers will no doubt appreciate. Right, I'd best be off before I open Advent calendar door number two too hastily...