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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I learned recently about a fascinating site called The Christmas Registry. The creators went to great lengths to make this site safe for children. Only the bare minimum of information is gathered from both the child and grown-up users. Furthermore, the site is designed to put the grown-up in complete control of the child log-ins.

Once a child has logged in, they have the option of playing games or making yummy treats from recipes, creating a Christmas wish list, or writing a letter to Santa. There’s also a Naught/Nice meter that the child can check to see how they’re doing. What a great way to help them track their own behavior visually!

For the wish list, the site pulls a feed from Amazon.com for the toys & books that are then displayed in the wish list section (on the child side of the site). Approximately 60,000 items are included, but the creators made extensive efforts to filter out inappropriate items. In the words of Doug Sak, one of the creators, “As a parent of two children I value all these efforts and I hope that the users of the site will as well.”

This video can give you more detail about the site.

You can see that same video right on the tour page of the site. Once you’ve registered, there’s another video available to help you navigate.

Also, if you’re concerned about your kids believing in Santa, Doug has this to say: “We walk a fine line between describing the site and keeping the secret of Santa, so we’ve placed that video inside the grown-up section.”

Earnest Parenting: help for parents looking to manage the gifty part of Christmas.