For over 70 years, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) have been tracking Santa Claus each Christmas Eve, as he travels from the North Pole to all countries of the world on Christmas Eve.
The origins of this are shrouded in the myseteries of time but what we do know is that back on Christmas Eve, 1948, The United States Air Force issued a communique stating that an 'early warning radar net to the north' had detected 'one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer, at 14,000 feet, heading 180 degrees'.
Associated Press pass this 'report' to the general public and was intended as a one off event.
Then one enterprising member of Colonel Shoup's staff used a picture of Santa on the board to track unidentified aircraft, that December. Shoup contacted CONAD's public affairs officer Colonel Barney Oldfield and between them, they contacted the press to tell them that 'CONAD, Army, Navy, and Marine Air Forces will continue to track and guard Santa and his sleigh on his trip to and from the U.S. against possible attack from those who do not believe in Christmas'
But, running a hotline takes an awful amount of people and the phone lines are staffed by volunteers with reports of around 40 calls per hour, per person and the team dealing with over 12,000 emails and 100,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countires and territories. Bearing in mind that this tracker doesn't open until Christmas Eve, the pones are normally manned for 20 hours starting at 4am, finishing at midnight MST on Christmas Day.
To give you an idea of the size of the opperation, in 2015, 1,200 US and Canadian military personnel volunteered to staff the phone lines. By 2018 this had risen to 1,500 volunteers and by 2019, the wonderful noradsanta.org website had received 8.9 million visitors.
NORAD Santa Tracker, online noradsanta.org has been up and running on the internet since 1997 at the dawn of commercial internet sites.
If you visit during January to the end of November you are greeted with a message to come back on 1st December. From the 1st, the website has information on the Santa tracker, games and other activities. Once it gets to 24th December in the site chanes to show Santa's journey with mini videos at world-wide landmarks.
What is amazing is that the Santa tracker is run by volunteers and corporate sponsorship. It received no money from US or Canadian taxpayers.
Why the Christmas Lace Notes?
2023 has come along and this is the second year of my lace notes. All kicks off on 15th November with the first of this year's Chrismas movies. One a day, every day until Christmas.