By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
The North Pole is just a phone call away this holiday season, thanks to the latest in telecom technology.
I Love Santa Calls not only bring the magic and wide-eyed wonder of the holidays to youngsters, its founder, Stephanie Scheid, hopes the whole family will spend some time together and start a new yuletide tradition.
Scheid, the mother of Kaelan, 16, Danielle, 14, and Carissa, 10, said the idea for I Love Santa Calls arose during a telephone conversation with a colleague in the United States.
“I was chatting with a friend in Los Angeles about how there’s so much excitement and hoopla about Christmas, and how it all happens so fast,” said Scheid.
Aware of relatively new RingStir technology, Scheid put her desire to slow down the pace of the holidays by using modern communication methods.
The I Love Santa Calls are 12 studio-recorded, animated storytelling calls featuring professional actors portraying Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves.
Scheid wrote the scripts for the vignettes herself. There’s the big mystery at North Pole. Who has Santa’s sleigh bells? After much cause for concern, Mrs. Claus is revealed as the culprit because she was adding new red ribbons and bows to the bells. Or there’s the tale of the dispute between the elves about who should lead Santa's sleigh every Christmas? Young listeners are encouraged to decorate their homes so Santa can be guided by their festive lights.
Scheid said the telephone calls are designed to have children count down the 12 days of Christmas — from Dec. 14-25 — in an interactive and fun way.
“Twelve calls from Santa makes kids feel his presence through the phone line, just as much or more as seeing the jolly, old man at the mall.”
Along with watching your child’s eyes light up with delight, Santa’s stories and North Pole adventures can create opportunities to share treasured family moments.
Sheid suggested members of the entire family can listen to the phone calls, which can be followed by a “meaningful conversation,” without the interruption of cell phones or texts.
At $12, the I Love Santa Calls make a fabulous, inexpensive gift for the younger set on your holiday gift-giving list. The calls can come to any phone, at any time and are voice-mail friendly.
Each purchase of the I Love Santa Calls program also means $5 for Make-A-Wish Canada, the charity that grants wishes, brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Scheid said the I Love Santa Calls were piloted last year and a few organizations were approached to participate, but Make a Wish Canada was always her first choice for a beneficiary.
“I tried a few charities but my heart was set on a Make-A-Wish because when a child is ill, it is just heart-breaking,” said Scheid.
“We’re very proud to be included in this year’s Make-A-Wish Season of Wishes national holiday campaign. It’s an amazing organization that’s all about making heart-to-heart connections.”
For more information, on I Love Santa Calls, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 905-921-5339.
You can also visit the website http://ilovesantacalls.com.
I Love Santa Calls utilizes call-on-command technology powered by RingStir. Primarily in use by motivational leaders, RingStir offers daily bursts of voice and text messages to help people make breakthroughs in the areas of weight loss, smoking cessation, career or relationships.