Each day of the year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) defends North America using an all-domain and globally integrated approach to track everything that flies in and around Canada and the United States. However, Christmas Eve is the busiest day of the year for NORAD as millions of families around the world track Santa's journey via the NORAD Santa Tracker.

This year NORAD said they are prepared to track Santa Claus across the globe on Christmas Eve for the 68th Year.

The hotline will be available to call starting at 6 a.m. CT on December 24 at 1-877-HI-NORAD and will operate until 1 a.m. CT December 25. NORAD will start tracking Santa’s whereabouts starting at 3 a.m. CT Christmas Eve when his annual deliveries are expected to begin.

An annual tradition that began in 1955 when a Sears ad printed in a Colorado newspaper misprinted a telephone number for children to call and speak to Santa was actually the number for the Continental Air Defense Command, the predecessor to NORAD.

Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the commander on duty during Christmas Eve 1955, answered the phone and quickly realized a mistake had been made. He assured the child he was indeed Santa and assigned an officer to continue answering the calls from children, and from there, a tradition was born.

What started as an error from humble origins has now grown into a massive volunteer operation that is undoubtedly the Department of Defense's largest community outreach program.

Since then, NORAD has added a Facebook page, Instagram, an X account, and a YouTube page plus a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Additionally, you can ask Amazon Alexa, or Bing. Subscribers to OnStar can ask the operator to locate Santa and SiriusXM, Kids Place Live will update you on Santa's location courtesy of NORAD.

Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa website receives several million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers typically answer more than 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children across the globe.

Today, NORAD conducts this mission by volunteers and the support of corporate sponsors. It is also done in honor of the man who started it all Col. Harry Shoup September 29, 1917 - March 14, 2009.

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