For the 64th year in a row, civilians and military personnel have enthusiastically volunteered to continue their tradition of tracking Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve.
The tradition started in 1955 when Sears accidentally misprinted their telephone number in an advertisement that told kids they could talk to Santa and his elves. Instead, they listed the number of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Military personnel were quick to catch on to the mistake, but instead of disappointing their hopeful young callers, they fielded hundreds of phone calls and reassured the children that they were keeping an eye on Santa’s whereabouts.
After NORAD was founded in 1958, the military headquarters made it their duty to keep the public informed about Santa’s location.
“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight path,” said Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. “The same radars, satellites and interceptors employed on December 24th are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”
Now, anxious youngsters can either call the NORAD’s Santa Tracker hotline, send an email to the agency volunteers, or they can check up on Kris Kringle’s location on the agency’s website.
Your NORAD Tracks Santa Team hard at work (not really...we are seriously just having fun spreading holiday cheer!) pic.twitter.com/wSZ43myjn7— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2019
“They’re all really sweet, small voices. I had a little girl tell me good night instead of goodbye. It’s really sweet,” one of the volunteers told reporters. “It really gets you into the Christmas spirit. There are Christmas carols in the background, everyone’s very friendly, happy to be there.”
NORAD has more than 47 satellites stationed across North America from 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. The satellites can track Santa’s location by using infrared heat sensors to detect unusual flying objects—such as a magical sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
If you want to contact NORAD for a personal update on Santa’s whereabouts, you can call them at 1-877-HI-NORAD (1 877-446-6723) or send an email to [email protected]
However, the NORAD volunteers are quick to tell young readers that even though it may be exciting to keep up with the head elf’s journey, he will only visit their homes once they are fast asleep on Christmas Eve.
Our Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Sergeant Major Paul McKenna, talking to some of our volunteers. pic.twitter.com/NxVQrvHeSR— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2019
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