Spare a thought for Santa Claus this weekend; while many of us are taking to the roads during rail strikes to get home for Christmas, the jolly old St. Nick has to visit 160 different countries who celebrate the festive holiday. In one night - thankfully, time zones exist for him to complete the magic.
Unlike a certain CEO who is adamant that details of his flights aren’t tracked, Santa Claus is more than happy for everyone to see where he is in the world when he begins his trek for Christmas. Every year, NORAD has provided up-to-minute travel information about where Santa Claus is, and will continue their efforts in 2022 through the Official NORAD Tracks Santa service.
From December 24, the tracker will officially start tracking Santa Claus’ whereabouts through both their website, by telephone or by downloading the official NORAD Santa Tracker app on both Android and iPhone. NORAD will be using the satellite technology usually used to ensure the airspace they cover is protected from potential threats - and during Christmas, ably assist Santa Claus during his journey.
The history of NORAD’s fun Christmas event dates back to 1955, when a child trying to reach Santa on a hotline number provided in a Sears advertisement misdialed the number and instead reached the early incarnation of NORAD. Rather than admonish the child for misdialing, Colonel Harry Shoup, who was a crew commander on duty, answered the first call and supposedly told his staff to give all children who called in later a made-up "current location" for Santa Claus.
It’s led to a voluntary venture in the United States that sees over 12,000 emails and more than 100,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countries and territories responded by a number of helpers offering their time to bring some festive joy to many across the world.