When it’s time for Santa Claus to come to town, the elves at NORAD’s Santa Tracker have a jolly time getting ready. The first shift of elfish volunteers begins early Christmas Eve morning, with the final Santa Tracker shift ending almost 24 hours later, reported CBS Miami.
Happily doing their good deeds in NORAD’s 59th annual such mission, the Santa Trackers respond to calls at 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723). Both children and adults eagerly dial to discuss just when the jolly dude in the bright red suit will slide down the chimney at their homes.
Although Santa’s elves are an ancient tradition, they magically have become savvy to the power of social media. With 148K followers, the Santa Tracker Twitter feed makes announcements about St. Nick’s current location.
#Santa’s sleigh is moving quickly towards Moscow! #NORAD
Where is the world is #Santa now? He’s flying over Azerbaijan! #NORAD
NORAD’s Santa Tracker also maintains a Facebook page with equally excited exclamations, seeking to issue reports of what happens as Santa Claus arrives at each locale.
Coalition troops in Afghanistan waved to #Santa. He wishes them happy holidays! #NORAD
Of course the Santa Tracker makes an appearance on YouTube as well, because St. Nick is a believer in the magic of media.
So just who are these elves? The volunteers range in age, but they all share a desire to maintain the miracle of Santa Claus, reported the Washington Post.
Pat Hines, for example, is a retired Air Force intelligence specialist from Phoenix who keeps it all in the family by volunteering with daughter Sharon Nolan from Colorado.
Begun in 1958, the Santa Tracker originated with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, more commonly known as NORAD. Both service staff and civilians help to take the calls at the NORAD location at Peterson Air Force Base.
In addition to providing Santa’s location, the elves dish out charming pseudo-facts. For example, you learn how much Santa’s sleigh weighs in gumdrop measurements, or get the distance from your home calculated in lollipops and candy canes.
Google has gotten in the act as well, hoping to promote awareness among tiny tots with its own Santa Tracker twist.
But for those who want to return to old-fashioned tradition without technology, Christmas miracles come in all forms. Last Christmas Eve, a tiny puppy was abandoned, weighing only one pound and suffering from both hypothermia and an infected broken jaw. And as the Inquisitr reported, even animal rescue experts felt that it would take a miracle for the puppy to heal.
One year later, that miracle has occurred. The dog, named Nicolas, is healthy, happy, and beloved by the family who adopted him.
“What a different Christmas this will be for him,” marveled Deanna Jarvis, who nursed the dying puppy back to health.
[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for SAG Foundation]