Watch Santa Tour The Globe With Google Earth

Today is Christmas Eve, which means that presents are en route to Christmas trees around the world. And NORAD is working with Google Maps to track Santa’s progress around around the globe.

Each year, Norad (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa as he travels the world delivering presents. And each year, I wonder if kids ask why Santa is animated.  That said, it’s a pretty sweet little tradition with a great story behind it:

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

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