Posted December 3, 2007 1:02 pm by with 4 comments

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I have hung the stockings and this weekend I’m off to get the tree. If you have young children at home or if you’re just a kid at heart, you’ll like what Google and NORAD are up to. A tradition of tracking Santa Claus, which was started in 1955, is still happening today, but thanks to Google Earth, this Christmas you can track Santa online.

What is NORAD? It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the U. S. and Canada. They inadvertently got involved in tracking Santa. In 1955, a Sears store published an ad that said kids could call Santa, but they put the wrong phone number. It was actually a phone number to NORAD, who decided to humor the kids. The organization started tracking Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve and continue to do that today. Working with Google, now they made it possible to see Santa’s trip in 3D, using Google Earth.

The fun started on December 1st when NORAD started adding an new online game each day until December 24th. Today it’s a space invaders-type game where you try to dodge snowballs and trees coming at your sleigh. On December 24th, starting at 1:00 am PST you can track Santa’s trip in real time. You can also send an email to Santa (I don’t know if he writes back or not). Incidentally, at a recent party, I overheard someone talk about his letters to Santa site where for a small fee you can get a letter from Santa that you can print out at home.

Google Earth will be on Santa’s trail, or you can track it with the NORAD Tracks Santa iGoogle gadget. On December 24, you can get the Santa Tracking file at

  • I think this is one of the better post titles I’ve read in a long time 😉

  • I actually saw that Santa is now doing Pod Casts ( Makes me wonder how excited my 2 year old will be to listen to Santa tips this year on his phat I-Pod Nano. Just kidding!

    Thought it was a pretty clever idea for real, done by a professional radio announcer. It’s cool where technology is taking Santa these days; we can even track it with Google Maps. Thanks Janet.

  • The question is: does Santa know he’s being tracked? Couldn’t this be construed as an invasion of his privacy?

  • I know this post was from last year, but, I found you when searching for the NORAD link myself! Even though the children of “today” have such great and inventive ways to enjoy Santa, I still think the image of Santa being tracked on the local TV weather radar, back in the 60’s, was pretty cool! I began an article about nostalgic Christmas memories, but it blossomed into much more! I think you can click on my name and be linked to it…if you are curious. Anyway, I really like your site and will be bookmarking it-you have a lot of useful info., so it seems! Lucky me in finding it tonight.