It’s Christmas Eve 2019, and as has become a tradition, NORAD, (The North American Aerospace Defense Command), is once again tracking Santa Claus via their Santa Tracker as he makes his yearly journey around the globe. NORAD has tracked the big guy in the red suit for 64 years, starting in 1955.
The beloved holiday tradition began all because of a misprinted phone number in a Sears holiday newspaper ad. (Anyone out there remember Sears?)
NORAD Tracks Santa
The program began on December 24, 1955, when a Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper which told children that they could telephone Santa Claus and included a number for them to call. However, the telephone number was misprinted and calls instead came through to Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Colonel Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children who called in a “current location” for Santa Claus. A tradition began which continued when the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced CONAD in 1958.
NORAD began posting Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve on a website back in 1997, and it has become a popular destination among parents and kids who want to track Santa’s journey around the globe.
NORAD reported that for Christmas 2013, it logged 19.58 million unique visitors to its website on Christmas Eve, and 1,200 volunteers answered 117,371 calls. Through social media, it had 146,307 Twitter followers and 1.45 million “likes” on Facebook
Visit The Official NORAD Santa Tracker in your Mac, PC, or iOS browser to view Santa’s trip around the world.
In addition to tracking Santa on Christmas Eve, the website also offers Santa’s Village, which includes a collection of holiday-themed activities, including games, movies, and books, as well as a gift shop where you kids (or you) can get a NORAD Santa Tracker t-shirt.
Google is also joining in on the Santa Tracking fun, with their own Santa Tracker. Users can track Santa via their favorite web browser on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac by visiting Google’s official Santa tracking website.
The Google site shows a live map of Santa’s current location, where his next stop will be, a live video feed of his journey, and even the estimated time that the big jolly guy will arrive in your location, so you can be sure to get the kids in bed before he visits. There are also a variety of games to play and videos to view on the site.