If there’s one chap we have a soft spot for, it’s Santa Claus, and while the jury is still out on whether or not he’s man or myth, you can now help your kids have a more Santa-filled Christmas with an app.

The app in question is called “Santapp” and will work with any iPhone or Android device, though you’ll want it to stand up on its side, as it needs to be aimed at a closed door, with the app relying on the art of sound and lights when a door is in fact closed.

Loaded up, there isn’t a lot to it, and you’ll find an option for how many kids you have, their names, and a timer, with this last part being important as it’s the amount of time you have to wake your children up at (early morning could be good, before the sun is up), make your way through the hall, and sit outside the room where all the presents are under the Christmas tree.

When the timer goes off and the door is closed, the app goes to work, with white lights flashing and the sound of the man in red, delivering presents for one, two, or three or more kids. If your child has a relatively common name, you’ll even hear that name called out by the man himself, Santa. If not, Santa will say something a little more generic, but still say he’s leaving presents. Four of the five names we tested didn’t work, so don’t be surprised if Santa doesn’t call out a name.

The app suggests doing a time run yourself to test it as you might get to the door early, plus you’ll want to see how it looks yourself to know what you’re going to say to your kids, but basically, you just need to setup the phone on its side near the crack of the door, run the timer from Santapp, and close the door.

From there, you’re basically making an adventure out of it, staying with your kids to stop them form running in until the app finishes its bit and Santa leaves the room, ready for your kids to come screaming in to see presents galore.

In case they do it early, the app is designed to stop the moment the phone moves (above), such as falling over if the door accidentally hits it halfway through the performance, and if the kids ask what happened, you can merely tell them about how fast Santa disappears if he feels like he’s being watched (who likes to be watched as they work?).

Overall, it’s a neat idea, and a free app some families will want to check out, with availability for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets. Just make sure to turn the volume up and run the thing not too early: you’d hate for the kids to open the presents at midnight and have nothing extra to open later that day.

Peter is a common name, but Val isn't (sorry boss!), and so if one common name isn't detected, the app will say something generic rather than say one name and not the other. That'd just be mean.