Here Comes Santa Claus…and children all over the world are bursting with excitement! Add to your family’s fun this year by tracking Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. My nephews look forward to their family’s Santa-tracking tradition every December. They are animated and energized as they watch Santa Claus embark on his trip around the world. After all, these boys have the inside scoop on the sleigh ride of the Jolly Old Soul himself!
NORAD: The Original Santa Tracking Site
In the 1950s, a Sears store in Colorado ran an advertisement inviting children to call and find out Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve. The ad inadvertently listed the wrong phone number. As a result, calls flooded the phones of what would become the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The Director of Operations at that time, Colonel Henry Shoup, realized the error and instructed his staff to play along. They happily pinpointed Santa’s location to these eager young callers so that the children wouldn’t be disappointed. Thus began a tradition that has expanded with technological advances. Colonel Shoup passed away earlier this year, but his Santa tracking legacy lives on. Millions of visitors all over the world keep tabs on the big guy in red on Christmas Eve. To join in the fun, you can track Santa’s journey on the computer in seven languages, call NORAD to ask his whereabouts, or email them to inquire about Kris Kringle’s location. The journey begins at 4 a.m. MST the day before Christmas.
1-877-HI NORAD (1-877-446-6723)
Not Only Amusement, but Also Education
Santa, of course, is the only one who really knows the exact route that he will take on December 24th, and so far…he’s not talking. He typically starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels westward. In past years, he has dashed by sites such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle. An impressive 3-D trek can be observed if using Google Earth. As Santa flew over Asia last year, my nephews were intrigued that he had already dropped off gifts at their uncle’s home in Japan…and they weren’t even in their PJ’s yet! Priceless geography lessons will naturally occur, along with an awareness of time zones.
There’s Entertainment Even Before Christmas Eve
Although Santa’s official journey doesn’t begin until December 24th, there is still plenty to do at NORAD’s Santa Tracking Site. Kids can visit Santa’s Village to count down the days and enjoy Christmas activities.
SantaClaus.net is another great website with several activities such as the following:
Karaoke Style Christmas Tunes
Santa’s Disco Dance
Santa’s Coloring Book
According to SantaClaus.net, the current North Pole temperature is 3 degrees in blowing snow. Brrr! Guess we better leave the Christmas Eve journey up to Santa!