Once again, NORAD ( North American Aerospace Defense Command ) is tracking Santa Claus as he delivers gifts to children all over the world.

design from noradsanta.org

What is now largely a volunteer program began on Christmas Eve, 1955 when a newspaper ad for a Sears store in Colorado Springs included a phone number for children to call Santa Claus.


But the number  was a mistake - it was actually a number for the Continental Air Defense Command Center in Colorado Springs. An officer on duty that night decided to add to the Christmas spirit and told the radar operators to give a report of the current location of Santa Claus to every kid that called.

The program - now mainly operated by volunteers - started on Christmas Eve 1955 when a Sears store newspaper ad included a phone number for Santa Claus.

The program later began accepting e-mail messages. On average, the volunteers will deal with more than 12,000 e-mails and 70,000 telephone calls from children in more than two hundred countries during the 24 hour period that begins early Christmas Eve.