Keeping tabs on Santa

Published 12:32 am Sunday, December 14, 2014

As we approach Christmas Day in less than two weeks, many are in full shopping mode looking for just the right present for their friends and loved ones.

Some of those gifts could be the latest high-tech gadgets, but it just seems appropriate that as technology has advanced; some of the most sophisticated technology is used this time of the year to keep tabs on the most low-tech person.

You guessed it, Santa Claus.

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One of the many magical things about Santa has always been his ability to get from place to place while flying under the radar.

But that is not the case anymore.

The North American Aerospace Defense command, better known as NORAD was created more than 50 years ago to implement safeguards to the airspace of the United States and Canada.

The agency transitions to a somewhat different role during the latter part of the month of December, as radar along with other devices to allow for tracking of Old Saint Nick during his Christmas Eve trek around the world.

The tradition began in 1955 when a newspaper ad told children they could call Santa at the North Pole, but the telephone number listed was incorrect.

Subsequently, when calls started coming in from kids hoping to speak to Santa Claus, they instead reached the crew commander at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Every since, NORAD has carried on the tradition for children and adults alike who want to track Santa.

If you have children who are either at the age of learning about the mystique of Santa or who have their belief in the jolly fat man waning, they can simply visit to observe the progress of Santa.

I am sure Santa may have some objections to all the high-tech gadgets used to track him. St. Nick is certainly a low-tech person, using reindeer instead of a car, has elves who build the toys instead of a big factory, and still uses a paper list –that he checks twice — instead of using a laptop or iPad.

And that is OK with me.

Until the year Santa trades Rudolph and his sleigh for a delivery truck or van, you can continue to visit NORAD’s website to keep up with his travels.

The site provides many cool things for children and the kid in all of us. Some of those things include a countdown clock, games and activities, and many other cool features.

We all know the true reason for Christmas and that is extremely important. However, using some high-tech gadgets to have fun and see Santa’s journey can lend to keeping the belief strong.


Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at