This Christmas eve, NORAD, or the North American Air Defense Command, is getting in on the fun — online.
By visiting the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site, you can follow the Santa’s path as he makes his way around the globe, brining Christmas cheer to children in China, India, Germany, New Zealand, the United States and more.
So why is an American military command tracking St. Nick? Well, from their Web site:
For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special “hotline” included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first “Santa” call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa’s position. Thus, the tradition was born.
Over time, the NORAD Tracks Santa project has grown, and today, you can find online video of Santa’s trip around the globe, as well as real-time updates of Kris Kringle’s location.
They have even gotten into the social media space and loaded video on YouTube.
So to everyone who is young (or young at heart), Merry Christmas, and enjoy tracking Santa with NORAD!