Christmas Eve, for many people, is a time to relax, enjoy a few drinks with friends and family, catch a movie, wrap presents, raid the refrigerator, and, in more recent years, track Santa with the kids online.
Both Google and Microsoft, the latter getting help from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (better known as NORAD), are once again offering up-to-the-minute information on Santa’s whereabouts as he hurtles around the globe, scoffing mince pies, downing copious amounts of sherry, and, of course, delivering gifts to excited and most likely wide-awake-but-pretending-to-be-asleep children.
With a little help from his team of well-trained reindeer, the bearded one is already well into his annual world trip, so how about checking on his progress with the online trackers?
Related: DT’s 2014 holiday gift guide
Both tracker websites have been spruced up for 2014, with new games, seasonal sounds, and Santa-centered movies introduced to entertain the kids, and probably more than a few adults, too.
Tonight you can see how Father Christmas is doing on his rounds, with each tracker offering real-time data on his current location, the number of gifts delivered, and his next stop. So what are you waiting for? Check out Google’s Santa tracker here, or NORAD’s here.
NORAD has been offering some form of Santa-tracking service for the last 60 years, though it all started by mistake when a Colorado Springs newspaper misprinted a ‘hotline’ phone number offering children the chance to call Santa.
The number belonged to NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Aerospace Defense Command (CADC), which, not surprisingly, was flooded with calls from excited kids eager to chat to the big guy in the red suit.
Fortunately, the CADC operators were happy to play the part of Santa and offer updates on his progress, much to the delight of the calling kids. And so a tradition was born.
- Keep an eye on Santa with the NORAD Tracks Santa app
- Santa Claus is coming to town: Get ready with these Christmas apps
- The best Christmas TV episodes and specials
- Last-minute Christmas gift ideas for you holiday slackers out there
- Just say the word to get some help from Alexa or Google Home this holiday season