Since 1958 children from the United States have been calling the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) on Christmas Eve to check in on Santa’s progress as he covers the globe. 

The tradition began in 1955 when a little girl mistakenly called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) in Colorado Springs (under the assumption she was calling Santa). Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, who happened to be working on Christmas Eve, reassured her CONAD would keep Santa safe in the sky. 

When CONAD changed its name to NORAD in 1958, it continued to offer the service to children on Christmas Eve, and it has become one of NORAD’s largest community outreach programs. Every year the service receives more than 130,000 calls and its online Santa-tracker receives roughly 15 million views from more than 200 countries. Other sites with Santa tracking tools include YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Have some eager kiddos who can’t wait for Christmas Eve? Have them log on to www.noradsanta.org to begin following Santa’s route. You can also save this number to your contacts for easy access every year for a fun call to hear his progress 1-877-Hi-NORAD.