It’s December and so it’s high time you started preparing your little ones for the job of tracking Santa Claus as he gets on his sleigh to deliver gifts to children around the world. It is a part of Christmas folklore and not to be taken lightly. As adults we might be filled to the brim with skepticism, but let’s sit back and relive our childhood when Christmas Eve used to be one of the most welcomed days of the year. Tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world is an exercise in fun, and just one of the things that keeps the Christmas spirit alive.
But how do you track Santa Claus, and what’s the story behind it? To answer both these questions, we head to the principal organization’s website which started it all and is today responsible for tracking Santa Claus.
It’s difficult to believe that this half-a-century old tradition started with a wrong number. It’s also slightly ironical that the agency that accidently (but then willingly) took on the task of tracking Santa for children across the world is a military organization responsible for the aerospace and maritime defense of the United States and Canada. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and its Santa tracker website has all the information about its mission of goodwill. Each is interesting in itself. Click onto learn more.
4 Ways Your Little Ones Can Track Santa on NORAD
1. Tracking Santa Claus on Google Earth
On Christmas Eve you can start tracking Santa on Google Earth from the NORAD site itself. The video below gives you a peek into the highlights from last year’s tracking effort.
2. Track Santa with the Help of Mobile Apps
You can countdown to the days when finally Santa hitches his reindeers by playing a game of Elf Toss to help Santa’s elves deliver presents. The mobile apps forand iPhone are the official ones from NORAD and come December 24rth, you can show your kids Santa’s progress on your smartphones.
3. Follow Santa With The iGoogle Gadget
If you have an iGoogle page setup, you can add the NORAD gadget to it and track Santa from the homepage. A click connects it to the NORAD site.
4. The Santa Cam Network
Your kids won’t get to see Santa fly-by from the cockpit of a NORAD fighter jet. The next best thing could be the ‘webcams’ strategically placed at many locations around the world. The webcams will only start broadcasting from December 24rth and then they will present your children images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world.
NORAD for all its serious intents and purposes is a fun site. While your kids are waiting for the X-day, you can keep them busy in the. This is a fun Flash game where your kids can discover fun things to do like listen to a song or play a game while they browse around the ‘village’.
NORAD is the principal agency for tracking Santa and you really don’t need to go anywhere else. But if you decide to check out what’s out there, here are a few sites that use NORAD’s Santa tracker and give your kids fun things to do around it.
This is a family oriented website that gives the family dozens of things to do during the holidays. The site opens with a panoramic view of Santa’s Secret Village. You can click on different houses to enter, leading to a variety of fun activities or stories. There’s the Christmas countdown calendar and ElfChat, a virtual chat app that mimics the way an elf would chat. Your child can also use this site to write a letter to Santa from October 1st through to December 24th each year. Then there’s the link to the NORAD Santa Tracker of course.
When it comes to tracking Santa Claus, nobody does it better than NORAD. And probably Google because with Google Earth, Google Maps and even Google+ [no longer available] on the trail of Santa, you are sure to get his exact fix. So, set your alarm clocks for Dec 24th (2 a.m. EST) but do let your kids know that Santa only pays a visit if they are asleep.