(CTN News) – Santa Claus has prepared his sleigh for flight by loading it with gifts for good children and securing the reindeer. Right now, they’re on a globe tour, stopping at millions of homes.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command has a tracking system that shows Santa Claus ‘s journey globally, so you may enjoy the tinkling of bells as you wait for him to arrive.
How NORAD’s Santa Claus Tracking Began: A Festive Accident
On Christmas Eve, at 6 a.m. ET, the Santa tracking system is activated by NORAD, the organization in charge of protecting the skies above North America. By visiting NORAD’s website or by calling the command center at 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723), anyone can track Santa’s global route.
Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder stated this week that NORAD answered nearly 73,000 calls on December 24th alone last year.
A NORAD press release states that the tracking service can also be accessed through various social media platforms, the NORAD Tracks Santa Claus app, Amazon Alexa, OnStar, SiriusXM, and the Bing search engine.
Norad has been monitoring Santa’s nativity tour throughout the globe for 68 years. Originally, it was a typo in a 1955 local newspaper ad that told kids they could call Santa personally; this was the unintentional beginning, as stated on NORAD’s website.
“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there….” – NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, BY CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE#NORADTracksSanta is getting ready for its 68th year of Santa tracking with a new call center being primed for the big day. pic.twitter.com/4fflHOBKwk
— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 21, 2023
The website states that the child dialed the number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., rather than Santa Clause.
The night’s duty commander, Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, was the one who took the youngster’s call. He quickly realized there had been an error and reassured the boy he was Santa Claus.
Shoup instituted a system that persisted until the formation of NORAD in 1958: a duty officer was appointed to handle incoming calls when the number of calls exceeded a certain threshold.
According to NORAD, this is how the practice began, and it has been going strong for decades. According to NORAD, the monitoring program has been utilized by millions of children and families worldwide to keep tabs on Santa’s location.
“Santa has been intercepted by many fighter aircraft throughout the years,” NORAD’s Lt. Gen. Blaise Frawley told NBC Sports’ Lester Holt. It’s customary for us to offer him a “wing wag” as we dismount.