Good news, Santa Claus fans.
For the 62nd year in a row, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is indulging the fantasy of Father Christmas.
NORAD’s regular mission is to oversee potential air threats against the U.S. and Canada. But each Christmas Eve, the organization’s mission is a little more playful.
The NORAD tradition of “tracking” Santa reportedly began in 1955, when a business misprinted the telephone number for its Santa hotline. Kids were instead put through to the organization’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Staff members decided to play along and take the calls ― and the rest is history.
This year, people can log on to NORADSanta.org, starting at 2:01 a.m. Eastern time Sunday morning, to watch a “livestream” video of Santa’s final pre-flight preparations.
After 6 a.m. Eastern time, volunteers at NORAD’s Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will reveal his location to anyone who calls its toll-free 1-877-Hi-NORAD number or emails email@example.com. Santa’s whereabouts will also be updated on NORAD’s social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube), the “NORAD Tracks Santa” smartphone apps, Amazon Alexa, Cortana and OnStar.
Google is also “monitoring” Santa for the 13th year, and its tracker will be available online and on Android devices this Christmas Eve.
Santa did not respond to comment as to which one is more accurate.