A pen rests on the playbook for volunteers who will be taking calls from around the globe in the NORAD Tracks Santa center at Petserson Air Force Base, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A pen rests on the playbook for volunteers who will be taking calls from around the globe in the NORAD Tracks Santa center at Petserson Air Force Base, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Where’s Santa? NORAD is tracking the jolly old man around the globe this Christmas

As with all things, the Santa tracker will look a little different this year

Do you hear that? The faint jingling?

That’s the sound of a certain jolly ol’ fellow and his reindeer setting off from the North Pole to deliver presents galore to eagerly waiting children around the world.

Santa Claus has been declared an essential worker and he has a big job ahead of him tonight; he needs to bring some good Christmas cheer at the end of what has been a not-so-cheery year.

VIDEO: Santa Claus cleared for arrival in Canada

Want to know when Santa will drop by your house? Track Santa’s location live, right here. By 8 a.m. PT on Christmas Eve, he had already dropped off more than 1.7 billion gifts and was flying over Da Nang, Vietnam.

But like all things, NORAD looks a little different this year. Normally, 150-160 volunteers crowd into a conference room at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, taking two-hour shifts to answer the phones as eager children call to see if Santa and his sleigh have reached their rooftops. All together, 1,500 people over 20 hours have participated in the call centre in the past, fielding more than 130,000 phone calls, beginning at 6 a.m. Eastern time on Christmas Eve.

This year, COVID restrictions mean that only 10 operators will be working during each shift. As a result, although some callers will be able to talk to a member of the military or other volunteer when they call the NORAD Tracks Santa toll-free number, 1-877-Hi-NORAD, others will get a recorded update on Santa’s current location.

Even though the NORAD initiative will be a little different this year, they’re committed to continuing the long-held tradition.

It’s now been 65 years since a misprinted advertisement led to the annual tradition enjoyed globally.

In 1955, a newspaper advertisement that directed children to call Santa direct included the wrong number.

Instead of directing kids to call Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defence Command in Colorado. In 1958, NORAD took on the tradition.

READ MORE: Sorry, Grinch. Virus won’t stop NORAD from tracking Santa


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

ChristmasCoronavirusSanta Claus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Bay tennis player Grace Haugen takes part in an exhibition at the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club in 2019, which also included Canadian legends Frank Dancevic and Daniel Nestor. Haugen has committed to further her career at the University of Montana starting next fall. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Bay tennis player prepares for next step in her journey

Grace Haugen commits to University of Montana

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled for Mount Prevost students today

Second school fire in five days for North Cowichan schools

New well in Youbou expected to meet community;s drinking water needs for years. (File photo)
New well provides fresh water in Youbou

Well expected to meet community’s needs for years

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Name on the egg carton not what it seems, cautions Cowichan producer

“Island” eggs may come from Manitoba, Woike says

The Kerry Park Islanders and Peninsula Panthers battle during a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game in November 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League hasn’t given up on season

Games can’t resume until at least February, but league brass still hopeful

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read