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Tracking Santa!

Despite the current, unfortunate shutdown of the government of the United States, the noble, volunteer elves of the joint U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) are faithfully on the job of monitoring their satellites for the infrared signature of Rudolph's nose. Following the reindeer's glowing, red honker, pinpoints Santa's location on his travels during Christmas Eve.

It all began in 1955 with a wrong number. A Sears ad in the newspaper gleefully proclaimed a phone number, ME 2-6681, would be a direct connection to the jolly guy at the North Pole. In reality, this number was the "red" phone at the Continental Air Defense Command, CONAD, NORAD's precursor. If that phone rang, it was about very serious matters of national proportions.

When General Shoup answered the "special phone," he was ready to deal with life and death situations. To his surprise, this time, a small voice on the other end was asking if he was Santa Claus. General Shoup was no-nonsense on the call until he realized there were sniffles on the other end. He was talking to a little boy. The by the book general took on the role of Santa, promising he would be at the child's house on Christmas Eve.

Learning about the misprint, General Shoup called the phone company to set up another number for the "red" phone, allowing more children the ability of connecting to the North Pole.

That was 63 years ago. NORAD is still on the job tracking Santa across the globe, letting us know when the jolly, old Elf will be at our houses. Find out where Santa is now-- NORAD Tracks Santa

I hope you all have the merriest Christmas. Happy Writing!

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