Some people on Mercer Island simply can't wait 'til Christmas morning to find out if Santa Claus gave them a visit.
For those who are impatient, don't worry. You can keep tabs on the big guy by following the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, website dedicated to Claus' coordinates.
But the site is more than an enhanced GPS. It also contains a "Kids Countdown Village," which offers games, activities and other features for young ones who eager for Santa, and a mobile app for Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android, or iPhone. On the twitterverse, you can follow Norad at @NoradSanta, or follow Norad's Santa Central on Facebook for instant updates.
The reason NORAD tracks Santa, according to its website, is this:
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.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the Internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.