Once again a time-honored Christmas Eve tradition is underway, as Santa Claus makes his way around the globe delivering gifts to good little boys and girls everywhere. If NORAD’s current calculations hold steady, Father Christmas’s reindeer route is unfolding as planned, with one of the latest Santa sightings made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Barring navigational forces, Santa’s journey, which usually starts in the South Pacific and hits New Zealand and Australia before moving on to Japan and Asia, will take Kris to Africa and Europe, followed by North America and South America, as he delivers the goods — at last count, nearly 2 billion — to kids everywhere by Christmas Day.
Tracking Santa’s journey is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the combined US-Canadian organization for aerospace warning, air sovereignty and defense. “Santa calls the shots,” NORAD says on its website. “We just track him!”
That’s been the case since 1955, when NORAD’s precursor, Colorado Springs‘ Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center, began offering kids updates on Santa’s current location, after a Sears ad mistakenly printed the command center’s number for kids to call for Santa’s whereabouts. So began a yearly tradition that’s been going strong ever since. This Christmas Eve, the US-Canadian operation, based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO, began fielding calls at 6 a.m. ET from kids eager to learn Santa’s coordinates.
Meanwhile, because Santa travels faster than starlight, NORAD has deployed no fewer than 4 high-tech systems — radar, satellites, Santa cams and fighter jets — to track the man they’ve code-named “Big Red One.”(In the midst of such technological savvy, however, there is one small thing that may be worth clearing up – we’re thinking Rudolph and company may actually be all-female, since scientists report male reindeer shed their antlers come wintertime. Just sayin’.)
As Santa makes the rounds, enjoy a taste of Christmas magic with our look at Santas Around the World. Explore Santa Claus’s house in the North Pole. Chat with the locals at Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. And find out who’s Santa Claus. Happy Holidays!