Kids keen on tracking Santa as he makes his way around the world on Christmas Eve have several excellent options to choose from.
Google’s tracker, for example, utilizes the company’s mapping expertise to guarantee the delivery of up-to-date and accurate information regarding Santa’s whereabouts throughout the day and evening.
According to Google, Santa makes his first stop just after 10 p.m. local time in far eastern Russia, when it’s 5 a.m. in New York and 11 a.m. in Paris. It means he’s going to be feeling the strain by the time he reaches the U.S., so be sure to leave out the milk and cookies before bedtime.
For some extra fun, Google’s tracker includes a gift counter so you can see how many presents Santa’s delivered as the day goes on. It also offers links to local guides so you can find out more about the places on his route.
There’s a neat story about how NORAD became a service for discovering Santa’s whereabouts. It all started on Christmas Eve 66 years ago due to a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper.
“In 1955, a young child, trying to reach Santa, dialed the misprinted phone number from a department store ad in the local newspaper,” NORAD explains on its website. “Instead of calling Santa, the child called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.”
The story continues: “Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night who answered the child’s phone call, was quick to realize a mistake had been made and assured the child he was Santa. After more incoming calls, Shoup assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls and a tradition was born, that continued when NORAD was formed in 1958.”
Thanks to the support, services, and resources provided by volunteers and government and corporate contributors, NORAD’s Santa tracker has been able to continue ever since, with the arrival of the internet complementing the phone service.
Each Christmas Eve, the NORAD site receives several million unique visitors from more than 200 countries around the world, while volunteers typically answer around 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children across the globe asking for Santa’s current location and what time he’s likely to reach their neighborhood.
Santa himself would of course love to speak, but he is, understandably, far too busy to take calls.
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