Follow That Sleigh!

Want to track Santa with your kids this Christmas Eve? Here's how to do it.

norad santa tracking christmas eve

Christmas Eve tradition

Tracking Santa's progress on Christmas Eve night is a tradition that's 55 years old -- and so much fun. What began as a wrong phone number, thanks to a misprinted advertisement, has evolved into a multimedia extravaganza.

These days there are so many ways for kids to connect. "My son, who just turned 15, has tracked Santa every year of his life on Norad, and continues to do so! It has become a family tradition, along with baking cookies for Santa Claus, even though I am pretty sure my son knows there is no Santa Claus," says Carol Leggett. "He says he prefers to believe in magic, and tough what the other kids say. Our best Norad experience was the year that Ringo Star was doing the tracking announcements. It was a double dose of fun!"

So, how can your kids get in on the fun?

How to track Santa

The methods of tracking Santa have come a long way from the initial days of tracking being a phone call away. These days kids can track Santa in a variety of ways thanks to NORAD, Verizon and some fabulous volunteers.

Here's how to track Santa this Christmas:

  • Online - The Official NORAD Santa Tracker has a countdown to when the tracking begins. Once it gets to zero, kids can login and see where Santa is in his journey across the globe. Trade the big guy on Google Earth, watch videos and more.
  • Twitter - Find out what's up at the North Pole by following @noradsanta on Twitter. Plus, get links to fun games and more.
  • Phone - Of course, the phone lines will be open too, thanks to Verizon. Kids in the U.S. and Canada can phone 1-877-Hi-NORAD to find out Santa's location on Christmas Eve.

The experience

So, is it worth checking out with your kids? If Leggett's son's experience is any indication, then the answer is absolutely.

Tracking Santa can create positive lifetime memories. Caroline Radaj, a 20-year-old college junior at the University of Wisconsin - Madison says that her family's NORAD tradition (which continues to this day) is a fond childhood memory.

"I still to this day remember childhood Christmas revolving around NORAD. Nowadays, when I go home for the holidays, my dad, who is the one who found out about NORAD and showed it to my brother and I, will still show it to me every year. I am not ashamed to say that I love it and I think it has definitely been a part of my Christmas memories," says Radaj.

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Tags: norad

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