Santa Claus has packed his sleigh with toys for all the good kids and he has made sure the reindeer are secured for takeoff. Now, they are traveling around the world to visit millions of households.
While you are waiting to hear the jingle of bells in the air that means Santa is near, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has a tracking system to show the jolly man’s progress worldwide.
NORAD, which is responsible for protecting the skies over the United States and Canada, activates its Santa tracking system at 6 a.m. ET on Christmas Eve. People can follow Santa’s journey around the world on NORAD’s website and on CNN’s livestream, or they can call the command center at 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).
A live operator, or a recording, will give the caller Santa’s current whereabouts, according to a November 30th news release from NORAD.
The tracking service can also be accessed through the NORAD Tracks Santa app, social media, Amazon Alexa, OnStar, and the Bing search engine, according to the news release.
This is the 67th year that NORAD has tracked Santa’s yuletide journey around the world. It started by accident, according to NORAD’s website, in 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly — only the contact number was misprinted.
“Instead of calling Santa, the child called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.,” says the website.
“Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night who answered the child’s phone call, was quick to realize a mistake had been made and assured the child he was Santa. After more incoming calls, Shoup assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls and a tradition was born, that continued when NORAD was formed in 1958.”
Thus the tradition was started, according to NORAD, and they have carried it on for decades since. Millions of families and children around the world have used the tracking service to monitor Santa’s whereabouts, according to NORAD.