If you celebrate Christmas, you may have followed Santa's Christmas Eve journey around the globe on NORAD.
Believe it or not, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey! The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launched on Dec. 1 and features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, activities and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
How on earth did this even get started?? The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck and Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the Internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa's whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
We turn it on every Christmas Eve on my laptop in the dining room. Throughout the day, we check his progress and talk about different cultures and world geography. It's fun AND educational! Between now and Christmas Eve, there are other areas to explore on the website and have some fun.
Will you be watching Santa's travels on Christmas Eve?
Hillary Chybinski is a crafty mom of 2 boys living the American Dream with her husband in the Philly burbs. This post was adapted from her blog, My Scraps.