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NORAD Santa tracker: Watch St. Nick make his way around the world
As Santa Claus makes his way across the globe, dropping down chimneys to deliver presents to children worldwide, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is giving viewers a chance to follow St. Nick’s journey in real time.
For the past 57 years, “NORAD Tracks Santa” has relied on volunteers working from the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., to update children -- and some adults -- on when they can expect Santa at their house. Along with an online map and telephone number (877-HI-NORAD), updates will be posted online, on Facebook and via Twitter.
In 2011, volunteers answered nearly 102,000 calls, nearly 25 percent more than the previous year. They also answered more than 7,700 emails.
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The "NORAD Tracks Santa" website attracted 18.9 million unique visitors from 220 countries during December 2011. And before the tracking operation got under way in 2012, the program had more than 1 million "likes" on Facebook and nearly 97,000 followers on Twitter in the days leading up to Christmas.
The tradition began in 1955, when a typo in a newspaper ad that invited kids to call Santa inadvertently gave readers the number for NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command.
Military officers played along, telling kids where Santa was.
Since then, "NORAD Tracks Santa" has gone global, progressing through bulletins on AM radios and black-and-white TVs to updates on Facebook, Twitter and smartphone apps.
Below, you can track Santa using NORAD’s online map. Merry Christmas!
With The Associated Press