Where is Santa now, and when will he be in your neighborhood? That is the question millions of children will be asking over the next 24 hours as Santa Claus prepares for his annual trip around the globe delivering toys to all the good children of the world.
While here in the United States we are still 24 hours or so from December 24, on the other side of the planet in places such as New Zealand and Australia it is already Christmas Eve, and the excitement many children are feeling is starting to hit the frenzy mode!
So, with so much work to be done by Santa and his elves, how can parents keep track of when they should expect Jolly old Saint Nick to arrive?
That’s where modern technology steps in.
Thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command Center, more commonly known as NORAD, parents can help the little ones keep up with Santa’s every move this Christmas Eve. From where Santa currently is to when he should be arriving in your town, NORAD has many ways for you to keep track of it all.
Ironically, NORAD’s Santa Tracker was started by accident when a local Sears advertisement in Colorado gave out a phone number children could call to talk to Santa directly. The only problem is that the number in the advertisement was misprinted, and the number given out was to NORAD’s Command Center.
That’s when Harry Shoup changed history.
On Christmas Eve 1955, Colonel Harry Shoup and his crew began receiving an unusually large amount of phone calls at the Command Center, and they were all from children wanting to know if they could speak with Santa Claus.
Eventually, when Shoup learned why this was happening, he decided to tell the children that were inadvertently calling the Command Center that Santa was not available at the moment, but he could give them updates on where he was and when he may be getting close to their house. Thus, a legend was born.
Now over 60 years later, NORAD Santa tracker is keeping children up to date with all of Santa’s activities in many ways. The official NORAD Santa Tracker website has tons of games, music options, a gift shop, and a library full of fun facts about NORAD and Christmas, and of course the thousands of workers at the command center are there to answer questions and track Santa’s every move.
Here is how you can follow Santa’s journey this Christmas Eve.
According to an AL.com report, tracking Santa will officially get underway at 2:01 a.m. ET on Dec. 24 with video coverage of the North Pole making their early preparations for the big day.
When the preps conclude, the real action begins.
Starting at 6 a.m. ET parents and children alike can begin contacting a live phone operator to inquire about Santa’s journey and when he will be heading in their direction. You have several options when it comes to getting a hold of someone at NORAD. You can either call the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to email@example.com. Either way, the good folks at NORAD will get back with you ASAP.
If you are on the go — and who isn’t during the holidays — you can track Santa on your smartphone, tablet, or any handheld device by using the official NORAD Tracks Santa app. They are available in the Windows, Apple, and Google Play stores. Just head to the play store on your device and search “NORAD Santa Tracker” and the app will pop right up. It is free of charge for all users.
Here’s to hoping everyone gets what they asked for this holiday season and Santa Claus has a safe and successful journey!
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]