This coming week, as with last year, it would seem there is only one event worth highlighting, so we decided we would highlight it once again with a little bit of help from NORAD.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
The North American Defense command located in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been tracking the round the world journey of Santa Claus with its state-of-the-art technology since 1955. It used to be kids could call a number and get an update, but these days it’s a click of the mouse away before they spot the location of the Jolly Old Elf.
NORAD provides up-to-date information on its website, www.noradsanta.org, and it also provides some pretty revealing Frequently Asked Questions. Here are a few of NORAD’s answers to get you ready for Tuesday evening when you and yours will be huddled in front of the flickering computer screen, monitoring the old elf’s flight.
• When will Santa arrive at my house?
NORAD tracks Santa, but only Santa knows his route, which means we cannot predict where and when he will arrive at your house. We do, however, know from history that it appears he arrives only when children are asleep! In most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on December 24th. If children are still awake when Santa arrives, he moves on to other houses. He returns later … but only when the children are asleep.
• What route does Santa travel?
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf launch staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!
• How can Santa travel the world within 24 hours?
NORAD intelligence reports indicate that Santa does not experience time the way we do. His trip seems to take 24 hours to us, but to Santa it might last days, weeks or even months. Santa would not want to rush the important job of delivering presents to children and spreading joy to everyone, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions within his own time-space continuum.
• Is there a Santa Claus?
Mountains of historical data and over 50 years of NORAD tracking information leads us to believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of people throughout the world.
• How old is Santa?
It’s hard to know for sure, but NORAD intelligence indicates Santa is AT LEAST 16 centuries old.
• What does Santa look like?
Based on flight profile data gathered from over 50 years of NORAD’s radar and satellite tracking, NORAD concludes that Santa probably stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 260 pounds (before cookies). Based on fighter-aircraft photos, we know he has a generous girth (belly), rosy cheeks from sleigh riding in cold weather, and a flowing white beard.
• How does Santa get down chimneys?
Although NORAD has different hypotheses and theories as to how Santa actually gets down the chimneys, we don’t have definitive information to explain the magical phenomenon.
You can track Santa by logging onto www.noradsanta.org.