Santa Claus is coming to your town, and once again, your kids will be able to track Father Christmas’s whereabouts as he makes his annual journey around the world.
Starting at 2:00 a.m. MT on Dec. 24, NORAD’s Santa Tracker goes live and telephone lines open up so that volunteers can answer queries from children curious about Santa’s location.
Google Maps will also be running their own version of a Santa-tracker, powered with the latest NORAD updates gathered from radar, satellite, and fighter jet data. Just type "Santa" into Google Maps to follow his movements around the globe.
NORAD, a bi-national Canadian and U.S. military organization, traces the tradition back to 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. ad misprinted a phone number for kids to call Santa directly.
“Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD (NORAD’s predecessor) commander-in-chief’s operations ‘hotline,’” according to NORAD’s tracker website. Rather than shut down the phone lines, NORAD’s first Santa-tracker, Colonel Harry Shoup, advised his team to check the radars for Santa’s whereabouts to inform the children who called in.
As technology advanced, NORAD added more satellites and radars to collect data and pinpoint Santa’s exact location as he made his way from chimney to chimney. In 1998, high-speed SantaCams were installed around the world to catch digital images and videos of Santa.
Unfortunately, due to widespread power outages after a weekend ice storm some children in Ontario may not be able to log on to NORAD’s website to check if Santa is headed their way.
But no fear! NORAD hasn’t done away with its hotline. Children can call in to request Santa’s location with a live agent on Christmas Eve at 1-877-HI-NORAD or 1-877-446-6723.
NORAD's Santa map goes live at 2:00 a.m. MT. Follow his Christmas journey below:
Also on HuffPost:
Santa Bungee Jumps
A bungee jumper dressed as Santa Claus leaps from a platform above Kuta beach in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Dec. 2, 2011.
Santa Directs Traffic
Philippine traffic enforcer Ramiro Hinojas, wearing a Santa Claus costume, directs traffic along a major road in Manila on December 6, 2011. Popularly known as the 'dancing traffic cop', the barely five-foot Hinojas, 55, is one of thousands of traffic enforcers who struggle daily to keep Manila's notorious road traffic from moving, despite insults from some impatient motorists and health dangers posed by pollution.
Santa Feeds A Shark
A diver dressed like Santa feeds a 15-foot long whale shark named 'Hachibei' at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on Nov. 13, 2011. Christmas attractions started at the aquarium and will be held throughout until Christmas Day.
Santa Is A Zombie
A man dressed up as a zombie Santa Claus takes part in a "Zombie Walk" at the Revolution Monument in Mexico City on Nov. 26, 2011. Organizers say 9,600 people took part in the event in an attempt to set a new Guinness record.
Santa Runs A 5K
A competitor raises his thumbs up as he takes part in the annual Santa Dash in Liverpool, north-west England on Dec. 4, 2011. The five kilometer race sees thousands of entrants run through the streets of the city center dressed as Santa Claus. Many runners wear a blue suit, usually supporters of the soccer team Everton FC, who refuse to run in the colours of their city rivals Liverpool FC.
One of the 250 Santas participating in a fundraising event takes a run at Sunday River Ski Resort, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Newry, Maine. To qualify for a free lift ticket each Santa had to wear a full red Santa costume, complete with beard, and donate at least $10 to the Bethel Rotary Club's annual drive to provide gifts for the area's needy children.
A worker dressed as Santa Claus swims during an aquarium show in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011.
Santa Walks Sheep
An amusement park employee dressed as Santa Claus walks sheep in the same costumes at the Everland amusement park during an event to celebrate Christmas in Yongin, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. Christmas is one of the biggest holidays celebrated in the country with over half the population being Christians.
Santa Operates A Gondola
Instead of serenading couples with Italian love songs, Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego has a Santa Gondolier singing Christmas carols as they cruise through the canals and waterways.
Santa Shoots Some Guns
The Scottsdale Gun Club allows people to pose with Santa Claus and several guns. Ron Kennedy, general manager of the Arizona club, says the business got the idea for the photo op last year when a club member happened to come in dressed as Santa and other members wanted their picture taken while they were holding their guns. He says people have used the photos for Christmas cards and Facebook posts.
Santa Gets His Eyes Checked
A man dressed as Santa Claus visits the Southern College of Optometry where he received an eye examination in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. After his exam he visited with children who were also there to get their eyes examined. The college was hoping to instill the importance of good eye care in their young patients. Dr. Daniel Taylor conducted his exam.