It’s a tradition that dates back to 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper printed a hotline for kids to call and track Santa’s whereabouts, but instead of the hotline, the phones started ringing at Continental Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD‘s predecessor. The officers on duty were good sports and played along, reporting Santa’s location. NORAD still plays along with the tradition, and they are gearing up to follow Santa’s progress on December 24th.
Rows upon rows of phone banks, operated by volunteers, are all set at North American Aerospace Defense Command to receive phone calls from children all over. Volunteers track Santa’s location on a map projected to a big screen and relay that information to awestruck kids on the phone. The phone lines will open at 5AM CST on Christmas Eve and will be answered until 4AM CST Christmas morning.
In addition to the traditional phone banks, there is a website, www.noradsanta.org, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and a smartphone app for iPhone and Android phones. The app has a lot of fun games including “Elf Toss,” which is something like Angry Birds sans the foul fowl and green pigs.
According to ABCNews, the NORAD Tracks Santa Facebook page has already accumulated 754,000 “likes,” and the Twitter page is up to 60,000 followers. Last year, NORAD volunteers answered over 80,000 phone calls and 7,000 emails.
Tracking Santa is almost as much fun for parents as it is for kids. Keep track by going to www.noradsanta.org!