We're officially in the home stretch of 2017: Hanukkah ends this Wednesday, December 20, Christmas is just one week away, and the crystal-covered Times Square ball will drop soon after. In celebration of the holiday season — and the final moments of the year — Google has released the first in a series of seasonal Doodles.
Today's Doodle, found on the search engine's homepage, depicts some adorable animal friends in very different climates. As Google's Doodle Blog explains, "The festive season is here and this pair of slippery-footed siblings are excited to spend time with their warm-weather relatives!" The first of three Doodle scenes you click through shows a pair of snowy penguins connecting via rotary phone with a toucan surrounded by palm trees. The second shows the penguins in their igloo packing for a trip down south. The third shows a photo of the creatures together, as well as four presents, each labeled with the dates the Doodles will go live, starting with today, December 18.
This sort of narrative storytelling over multiple Doodles is just one more playful iteration of the illustrations that Google has used to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and notable public figures over the years. They've come a long ways since the first Doodle in 1998, which Google's founders used to let users know they were at the Burning Man Festival. 2017's Doodles have been a particularly strong group, expanding the limits of what is possible with a homepage illustration or animation.
There have been multiple politically-charged statements, an interactive spinner game, and a beat-mixing music maker celebrating the history of hip hop. While Google honors the birthdays of many individuals you might recognize, such as Selena Quintanilla, it's also branched into covering those who may be less recognizable, but every bit as impactful, such as Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Dolores del Río.