By Stacey Leasca
December 23, 2019
Two kids hugging Santa Claus
Credit: manonallard/Getty Images

Though most of us are off enjoying our winter vacations there’s one man still working hard through the holidays — Santa.

Starting early tomorrow the big man in red will make his way around the globe to deliver toys to all the kids who made his “nice” list this year. And, because we are living in high-tech times, you can track his every move thanks to the fine scientists at The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and its famed Santa Tracker.

"It all started in 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly – only the contact number in the advertisement was misprinted,” NORAD explained of its Santa mission. “Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD. Col. Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls. Thus, a tradition was born, and continued when NORAD was formed in 1958."

It’s also a tradition Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said the group is happy to continue carrying out.

“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight path,” Gen. O’Shaughnessy said. “The same radars, satellites and interceptors employed on December 24 are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”

Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve amateur Santa trackers can follow along with the live journey on NORAD’s Santa Tracking website. Those who want to go the extra mile can also call NORAD’s toll-free number at 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723), or shoot them an email at for updates. Of course, it is 2019, so NORAD will be updating its social media sites frequently, so make sure to follow along on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well.

However, if you want to start tracking Santa even sooner Google has its own Santa Tracker that begins at midnight on Christmas Eve. According to Google, Santa will kick off his journey in far eastern Russia and make his way around the globe from there.