Are you (or one of your smaller family members) impatiently awaiting Santa’s arrival? You’re in luck because we’ll be meticulously tracking Kris Kringle’s journey around the globe this Christmas Eve!

Our friends at North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) are using their special technology again (for the 61st year!) to pinpoint Santa Claus’ whereabouts. You can follow along on your radio. Tune to Kids Place Live (Ch. 78) every 20 minutes, starting at 4 pm ET on Dec. 24, for the latest update on the sleigh’s location.

So, if you’re taking your little ones on a last-minute shopping trip, returning from Midnight Mass or driving home from a relative’s house, your kids can rest assured knowing that St. Nick is on his way!

NORAD is usually pretty busy monitoring North America’s aerospace and water and warning of any attack against the continent by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles — if any agency should be tracking Santa Claus’ sleigh, this would be the one. But, it took a coincidental phone call in 1955 to get Santa on NORAD’s radar.

 

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The legendary Col. Harry Shoup

Back in the winter of 1955, Col. Harry Shoup of Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center (later to be known as NORAD), answered his private, unlisted phone to hear a child’s voice on the other line. According to legend, the child thought he was calling Santa Claus himself. Some say the number was misprinted in a Sears campaign, while others insist the merely child misdialed. Either way, he reached the desk of Col. Shoup. That call itself didn’t amount to much. It was only when one of Shoup’s staff drew Santa’s sleigh on the CONAD unidentified aircraft tracking board that Col. Shoup got inspired.

He had his PR officer announce that CONAD was indeed tracking Santa Claus that year. After all, they had the technology, which has only become more sensitive to potential unidentified sleighs and reindeer. The tradition continued every year and now NORAD uses satellites, radar, jet fighters and (of course) Santa Cameras to track Father Christmas’ journey through North American airspace. In addition, more than one thousand volunteers at NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., answer children’s’ calls on Christmas Eve.

For the more tech-savvy child, NORAD publishes updates to their social media accounts including their Twitter feed.

Here’s a peek inside NORAD’s Operations Center where volunteers take calls from kids curious about Kris Kringle’s whereabouts. As you can see, these folks take their task very seriously.

Before Christmas Eve, kids and parents can explore NORAD’s Santa-tracking technology and find out more about their operations on their special holiday website: noradsanta.org. And, on the 24th, don’t forget to tune into Kids Place Live (Ch. 78) to hear special holiday programming and updates from NORAD every 20 minutes!

You can also call 1-877-HI-NORAD and follow Santa’s route online.

For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog.

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