Thanks to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) everyone can check exactly where Santa is on his big day of the year.
NORAD has performed the task of keeping track on the movements of Father Christmas since 1955 when a local newspaper printed the phone number of NORAD by mistake in a Sears department store advert inviting children to contact Santa. This advert was placed in a Colorado Springs newspaper and when the colonel in charge of the Colorado Springs Continental Air Defense Command Centre was told about the many phone calls his staff were receiving he ordered that they tell each child ringing up the current location for Santa and his sleigh and so began the NORAD Santa tracking tradition.
Things are now so busy that NORAD has to enlist the help of many volunteers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to help them deal with the many phone calls and e-mails that they receive. By far the biggest contact is made courtesy of the brilliant website where there is a real-time map showing Santa’s location and exactly how many presents have been delivered so far during his trip around the world.
As a guide the NORAD Santa tracking website had around 22.3m unique visitors last year as well as 1.2m Facebook followers and 129k followers on Twitter.
Santa’s first stop today was in Novoye, Chaplino in Russia and he has also already visited China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India to name but a few of his early stops. In fact you can see from the photo here that Santa was spotted flying over the Sydney Opera House earlier on today. European children will be pleased to know he is making good progress and is expected on time here in the UK.
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.