This year the North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating 60 years of monitoring Santa Claus’ journey around the world. The website, which has already launched, features the North Pole Village with a countdown, games, music and more.
In particular, the website highlights the program over the past 60 years with frequently asked questions, including how the tradition began in 1955. For those who don’t know the story, it started with a misprinted phone number in a Sears advertisement telling kids to call Santa. The number instead directed them to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” Colonel Harry Shoup, the Director of Operations at the time, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa, and from then on kids who called were given updates on his location.
Other fun facts are listed throughout the interactive website, like a list of specs on Santa’s sleigh — or “a versatile, all weather, multi-purpose, vertical short-takeoff and landing vehicle.”
On December 24, starting at 2:01 a.m. EST, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will also be streaming video as he makes his way over various locations. Then, at 6 a.m. EST you can speak with a live phone operator about Santa’s whereabouts by calling 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also official “NORAD Tracks Santa” apps that can be downloaded from the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores.
Check out noradsanta.org to keep up with Santa.