Santa Claus may be keeping tabs on who is naughty or nice this year, but NORAD is in charge of keeping an eye on Santa as he makes his way around the globe on Christmas Eve.
Through the magic of technology, you can keep tabs on Santa as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) highlights the jolly old elf's journey by reindeer-pulled sleigh around the world tonight.
“NORAD stands the watch protecting the skies of North America 365 days a year, but on Christmas Eve the children of the world look to NORAD, and our trusted partners, to make sure that Santa is able to complete his mission safely,” said General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., NORAD Commander.
“This mission is a duty to the children of the world and a privilege we've enjoyed for 56 consecutive years, but the effort could not be carried out without the superb assistance of numerous government and non-government contributors," he added. "It is the generosity of these contributors, the hard work of the more than 1,200 volunteers who man the NORAD Tracks Santa Operation Center, and vigilance of the Canadian and U.S. forces who work at NORAD that guarantees the program's success each and every year."
Santa Claus is expected to leave the North Pole and start on his journey at 6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, starting in Russia's far Eastern areas. By Christmas morning, he will have completed his annual trip, touching down in homes around the world.
How is this even possible? NORAD officials have a theory.
"NORAD intelligence reports indicate that Santa does not experience time the way we do," the NORAD site speculates. "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."
NORAD captures video of Santa's journey using Santa Cams and expects to have 28 videos on their website this year along with the tracking map. A video compilation of last year's trip can be seen above.