NORAD Tracks Santa – A Christmas Tradition

Christmas time in Canada is a traditional holiday and a time of year for magical feelings and a sense of wonderment. Additionally, every parent enjoys seeing their child ecstatic on Christmas Day when presents miraculously appear under their Christmas tree. Fortunately for Canadians, they share a similar nationality with Father Christmas.

That’s right. Santa Claus is an honorary Canadian citizen as of 2008.

In the tradition of maintaining the magic and wonderment of Christmas for children, Canada and the United States have maintained a very cute program since the mid-1950s called NORAD Tracks Santa.

For those unfamiliar with NORAD, it is the North American Aerospace Defense Command and was used to monitor the skies for potential attacks from various countries during the cold war. In 1955, due to a misprint in a newspaper ad, children were directed to call a telephone number to learn the location of Santa Claus during his international trip. The telephone number was connected to NORAD.

Perhaps the folks picking up the phone on Christmas Eve were a little nervous to hear bad news on the other end, but instead they heard a little girl ask for Santa’s co-ordinates. In the spirit of the holiday, the on-duty officer at the time informed the girl of Santa’s location using NORAD’s sophisticated radar equipment and they have done so every year since.

Nowadays, if you would like to know where Santa is on Christmas Eve you should log on to

Minister Jason Kenney, the Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, announced that Nunavut will “run the control tower lights throughout Christmas to guide Jolly Saint Nick southward on his departure and northward on his return.”

Talk about international co-operation!