TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Christmas is just weeks away, and while Santa’s elves are busy at his workshop, he and his trusty reindeer are getting ready to embark on their journey to deliver millions of presents to children around the globe.
NORAD’s Santa tracker will let your children track his progress in real-time this Christmas Eve.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa’s journey for the last 67 years. NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian air force command responsible for tracking all foreign military aircraft that enters the Air Defense Identification Zone of North America.
Its mission to track Santa began by accident in 1955, when a young girl dialed the wrong number and reached an unlisted line for the military’s Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado. The girl had seen an advertisement with a big picture of Santa that invited kids to call him at a misprinted number.
“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,” NORAD said. “After more incoming calls, Shoup assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls and a tradition was born.”
There are a number of ways you can keep tabs on Santa this year.
NORADSanta.org went live on Thursday, Dec. 1. The website features live updates on Santa’s journey along with information about NORAD and holiday games.
The NORAD Tracks Santa call center will be open for 23 hours starting on Christmas Eve. Families can dial the toll-free number 1-877-HI-NORAD (446-6723) to inquire about Santa’s whereabouts.