For the 1,500 civilian and military volunteers who will answer the phones for kids calling 1-877-HI-NORAD, it infuses the holiday with childlike wonder.
"On Dec. 24, 1955, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado".
Colonel Harry Shoup didn't miss a beat. The tradition dates back to the 50s when children were able to phone the centre to check on Santa's progress.
"They're all really sweet, small voices", Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer phones for two previous years, told the news outlet. She arrived at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, on Friday night, but the White House announced Saturday the first lady will return to Washington to join her husband, President Donald Trump.
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NORAD's radar system is installed in more than 47 locations across Canada and Alaska. Well, according to the organization, its command centre's Defense Support Program satellites use an infrared sensor to detect heat signatures from Rudolph's nose.
When Santa crosses the Atlantic, he typically makes his initial appearance in the Americas in Canada and then works his way down the East Coast of the U.S. towards us.
Those who follow along with the Santa Tracker also have the opportunity to learn about areas around the world he visits.
If Santa takes a similar route that he did previous year, he will head through Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Far East initially, on his way down under to deliver gifts to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tahiti. You can get more details and see a lovely 3D map by visiting NORAD's website right here.
We aren't delusional. We know, I hope, that a fat guy in a red suit doesn't slide down our chimneys every December 24, eat all our cookies, and leave behind some presents (I mean, face it, that would be creepy).