A decades-old holiday tradition begins again on Christmas Eve. NORAD’s Santa Tracker tracks Santa his Claus around the world as he delivers presents with his reindeer.
NORAD will begin tracking Santa’s movements through its website and app each year around 4am ET on Christmas Eve. Beginning at 6:00 a.m. EST, operators will be on call for children to receive updates on Santa’s whereabouts. Call the toll-free number 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to watch the tracker live in the video player above at 9:30 PM EST.
According to NORAD, Amazon users will also be able to monitor St. Nick’s Christmas Eve route this year by asking Alexa where Santa is. Alexa users are advised to download the free His NORAD Tracks Santa skill before asking.
The NORAD Santa Tracker website supports eight languages. You can email it to [email protected].
History of the NORAD Santa Tracker
NORAD began tracking Santa’s whereabouts in 1955 when a young child saw a misprint in a department store advertisement in the local newspaper and tried to call him.
“Instead of calling Santa, the child called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado,” NORAD said on its website. “Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night to answer the child’s phone, quickly realized the mistake had been made and assured the child that he was Santa.
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With the influx of children calling the agency looking for Santa, they assigned duty officers to answer the calls. This tradition continued when CONAD became NORAD in 1958.
Screenshot of the NORAD Santa Tracker website (Credit: NORAD)
In addition to tracking Santa, NORAD monitors all traffic in North American airspace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.