The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) program is back, going live at 2 a.m. on December 24.
The young and young at heart are invited to call 1-877-HI-NORAD or visit noradsanta.org to track St. Nick’s whereabouts as he makes his famous Christmas Eve rounds. Four hours prior, at 10 p.m., December 23, the website will show Santa getting ready for his big trip.
NORAD and its predecessor CONAD, the Continental Air Defense Command, have been tracking Santa since 1955 when a printing error in a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement gave kids the phone number to CONAD ’s operation hotline instead of to Santa. Colonel Harry Shoup, the director of operations at the time, took over the mission, rounding up his staff to check the radars and give kids updates on Santa’s location. The tradition has continued ever since. When the North American Aerospace Defense Command was formed in 1958, creating a bi-national air defense command between Canada and the U.S., it took over Santa tracking duties.
However, NORAD is sure to stress that it cannot predict when Santa will visit individual homes. Only Santa knows that information, though it’s widely speculated that he only comes when kids are sleeping…
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.