The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) followed Santa Claus closely as he delivered presents to children all over the globe on Christmas Eve.
It was the 67th year in a row that the joint military command, made up of both the United States and Canada, which protects North American airspace, has employed radar technology to track Father Christmas.
Saint Nick and his nine reindeer started their journey at about 4:00 A.M. Eastern time on Christmas Eve, when they took off for Russia's far east and the Pacific Islands to the west of the International Date Line, as per the tracking device.
He followed up with stops in Australia, far eastern Asia, central Asia, India, and many other places. At 2:00 P.M. Eastern time, Santa flew over Saudi Arabia before making his route towards Europe and, eventually, North America.
Hawaii was to be Santa's last destination before his return to the North Pole.
The tradition of following Santa Claus began in 1955, when a small child trying to reach Santa dialed an incorrect number found in an advertisement from a department store in the local paper, instead accidentally calling the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center located in Colorado Springs.
The military commander who was in charge that night realized the child’s mistake and began to pretend to be Santa, which started an ongoing tradition after NORAD was founded in 1958.
More than a million internet users from more than 200 nations browse the NORAD Tracks Santa website every year for live updates about the exact location Santa is currently traveling. Additionally, volunteers respond to approximately 130,000 phone calls from children across the globe via the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline.
U.S. presidents have also been willing to take calls to assist children in tracking Santa, which has brought some unforgettable moments.
In 2021, President Joe Biden was fooled by the father of a child who called in to follow Santa. Breitbart News covered the exchange:
“Merry Christmas, and let's go, Brandon!” the father, who identified himself as “Jared,” said, referring to the phrase used by conservatives to express discontent with the president, after Biden spoke with his children over the phone.
“Let's go, Brandon, I agree,” Biden replied.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump took a call from a girl who was seven-years-old and asked her whether she was a “believer in Santa” before hilariously saying, “Because at seven it's marginal, right?”
If you'd like to track Santa, reindeer, and elves, visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website or go to any of the NORAD social media channels, including Facebook and YouTube. You can also contact the NORAD Santa Tracker hotline toll-free: 1-877-446-6723.