But even before Christmas Eve, NORAD's Santa Tracker website has tons of online Christmas fun for kiddos -- and the young at heart!The medium may have changed since it first began more than 60 years ago, but the sentiment remains the same. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs tracks Santa's route and progress every Christmas Eve, ensuring that children are snuggly tucked into bed and snoring before the reindeer hooves ever hit the roof. [caption id="attachment_28631" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Closeup of Santa's entourage, Image courtesy of ABC7 Los Angeles[/caption]
Using their state-of-the-art satellites, radar technology, and jet fighters, NORAD is able to keep tabs on where Santa Claus is in the world (as of this writing, he's working feverishly at The North Pole, of course). In the early years, curious children had to call NORAD's special hotline for Santa's location updates, but these days, it's possible to watch his progress live online as he makes his way from country to country, state to state. But telephone and email updates are still possible, too.
"Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly nine million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world," NORAD's website states. "Volunteers receive more than 140,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe."Even before Christmas Eve, however, the Santa Tracker website offers tons of holiday fun, from arcade games to holiday music, as well as informative movies and facts! [caption id="attachment_28632" align="aligncenter" width="1901"] Screenshot image courtesy of NORAD Santa Tracker[/caption] A new feature allows for people to also track Santa through social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, via the handle @noradsanta in the search engine. The Santa Tracker is particularly useful for parents of young kids who might need that extra push to get into bed on Christmas Eve, despite their giddy excitement. Everyone knows that Santa can't come until children are fast asleep. So logging in online and seeing Santa's whereabouts and swift movement across the country (the man's fast!) can certainly be very helpful in making sure kiddos get to bed on time. For more info on the history of the Santa Tracker, click here. Visit the Santa Tracker website on December 24 to track Santa and before then, too, to explore all the holiday-themed fun! Is tracking Santa a tradition in your household? Leave a comment below! Merry Christmas!