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

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Alan can be seen picking organic ambrosia apples on his Keremeos orchard, Old Tower Farm. The provincial government has partnered with the farm owners to lease a portion of their orchard to a new farmer. (Old Tower Farm photo)
Budding farmer gets his start on Keremeos orchard

Kanver Brares, 21, will grow the fruits of his labour on leased land at Old Tower Farms

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

A warrant was issued for Darwyn Sellars, 31, on Nov. 4, 2019, according to Black Press. (CrimeStoppers)
List of guilty pleas entered along with North Okanagan shootout

Sentencing delayed against Darwyn Sellars, who pleaded guilty to a rack of charges

Gin voices his view of having his photo taken as Ken and Karleen Kantymir pose with him and his brother Tonic. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep’s quirky antics keep Salmon Arm couple entertained

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Fire crews on scene of hot tub blaze. Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
Workers on concrete pump assist Kelowna homeowner battling hot tub fire

Home owners and neighbours fought the flames with a garden hose

(RCMP file photo)
Arrest made for break-in to the Penticton Herald

Police arrived to see blanket-wearing man holding computers

Most Read