Kids, want to know Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve? It’s only a click or phone call away.
NORAD has been training its satellites and radar on Santa and his sleigh for more than 60 years, fielding phone calls from children for updates on his position.
Kids can now also visit NORAD’s and Google’s websites, where they can play games, hear holiday music and watch the frantic preparations at the North Pole for Santa’s journey. Children all over the world can join the fun, as both websites offer translations into many languages.
At NORAD the tradition came about accidentally in 1955 when a newspaper misprinted Santa’s telephone number in a department store ad. A boy reached a good-natured colonel on a hotline at the defense installation, who obliged with Santa’s location.
In 2015, 1,500 volunteers handled 140,000 calls on Christmas Eve. The website drew 22 million visitors. What’s more, NORAD’s helpers responded to callers in Chinese, Spanish, Dutch and five other languages.
NORAD says people in Japan, Germany and Spain were the most curious, but calls came from every pocket of the globe, including Bulgaria, Fiji and The Gambia.
Whether Santa is flying over the Egyptian pyramids or the Great Wall of China, NORAD uses “Santa cams” and space-based infrared trackers to home in on a frequency from Rudolph’s red nose.
To learn Santa’s whereabouts the old-fashioned way, call 011-1-877-HI-NORAD (44-66723).