These days, seasonal merrymakers looking for new ways to celebrate the holidays don’t have to limit their festive flair to their attire, their homes or even the physical world — they can deck out their devices, their playlists and other elements of their virtual worlds, too!
For those looking to add some digital tinsel, trimmings and bows to their online, on-device and on-screen lives, these holiday-themed virtual accessories offer some great ways to show off their seasonal spirit:
They don’t call Mariah Carey the unofficial queen of Christmas for nothing — her 1994 hit “All I want for Christmas Is You” might be one of the most recognizable contemporary Christmas tunes of the last quarter-century. (And is it any coincidence that her initials “MC” are also the first letters of “Merry Christmas”?)
On her latest Christmas album “Merry Christmas Deluxe Anniversary Edition,” released in November 2019, Carey delivers the same soulful Motown feel and long list of Christmas standards found on 1994’s “Merry Christmas” — plus adds a full bonus collection of rare remixes, unreleased live tracks and even a few new songs. Album highlights include “Sugar Plum Fairy Introlude” (a new track), “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and, of course, the aforementioned “All I want for Christmas Is You.”)
Those looking to celebrate the season on their smartphones have plenty of app options available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play’s apps section. Just a few festive app options include:
- The Elf on the Shelf Ideas, which provides a daily photo feed with creative Elf on the Shelf ideas and instructions (available for Apple and Android)
- 25 Days of Christmas, which features an in-app Advent calendar offering a new Christmas-themed game each day of December through Christmas (available for Apple and Android)
- Santa Tracker Christmas, which offers insider info on ol’ Saint Nick’s whereabouts leading up to and on the big day (available for Android)
- Elf Yourself, which lets users star in a series of personalized videos featuring their own (and friends’ and family members’) faces on dancing elves (available for Apple and Android)
The internet is loaded with gifts for fans of the season. Among the enjoyable websites spirited surfers can visit for some holiday-themed fun are:
- Gift Wrapped, an online game that challenges players to quickly ID the wrapped versions of gifts ranging from robots and trains to teddy bears and toy cars
- Make A Snowman, something of a blank online snow canvas that lets visitors choose from a range of face, hat, scarf, arm and other options to create their very own cool companion — without having to bundle up (or even leave the house)
- Spin the Dreidel, a game featuring a virtual dreidel that players spin to determine what they put into or take out of the kitty, which the winner gets to keep
- This virtual fireplace gives viewers a full 12 hours of the relaxing glow and crackling sounds of a burning fireplace — with no need to chop any wood or clean up any ashes. (The heat, unfortunately, will have to be found elsewhere.)
The FTC Digital TV lineup is loaded with holiday cheer, some of it even focused on holiday events, services and performances held right here. Tune into FTC Now (Channel 26) for a wide range of features on holiday happenings in the local viewing area. Just a few examples of FTC Now’s seasonal programming include specials on local events such as Christmas on Main, the Sumter Christmas Parade and the Barrineau Christmas Parade; holiday performances from local groups like the Lake City Chorale, the Lake City Chorus and the Fort Jackson 282 Band; and Christmas services from local churches including Sumter First Baptist, Sumter First Church of God, Alice Drive Baptist Church, Barrineau Pentecostal Holinessand Bethesda Church of God.