Published Sunday, December 23, 2012
From Staff Reports
The stockings are hung, the letters written, the cookies baked. Now it’s time to find out how close Santa Claus is to your house.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is prepared to track Santa’s yuletide journey for little ones and their parents. The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org , is live and ready for Christmas Eve. It features a holiday countdown, games and daily activities, video messages from students around the world, and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available. Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google plus. Santa followers just need to type @noradsanta into each search engine to get started.
Starting at 12 a.m. MST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make the preparations for his flight. Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will also stream videos as Santa makes his way over various locations.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. Santa’s Countdown Calendar and the Santa Cam videos will feature music by military bands, including the Naden Band of the Maritime Forces Pacific, Air Force Academy Band, Air Force Band of Liberty, Air Force Band of the Golden West, Air Force Band of the West, Air Force Band, Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Army Ground Forces Band, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band, Air Force Band of Mid-America, and the West Point Band.
The Santa Tracking service all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted.
Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.