How to follow Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas eve journey around the world

How to follow Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas eve journey around the world
By Katy Dartford
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The North American Aerospace Defense Command's NORAD Santa tracker allows you to see a live map of where Santa is in the world, and how long you have to get to bed.


Santa Claus is coming to town, darting from chimney to chimney, country to country and continent to continent, delivering gifts while consuming copius amounts of port and mincepies.

But if your not sure if you've been naughty or nice - how will you know if he's heading to your house?

It's almost become a festive tradition.

Each year on Christmas Eve, a crack team from the North American Aerospace Defense Command who are normally responsible for monitoring any aerospace or marine threats, have another important mission -tracking Santa as he makes his sleigh journey across the world.

Travelling an estimated 510,000,000 kilometers over the course of one night and moving at a speed of 10,703,437.5km/hr - almost 3000 km per second - that means some very tired reindeer.

NORAD keep up with Santa's swift pace using the multi-billion dollar assets at their disposal - satellites; fighter jets; Santa cams and an infrared sensor to detect heat from Rudolph's nose. 

The US agency doesn't just track Father Christmas either. Now they publish his whereabouts online on the interactive NORAD Santa tracker, and you can watch videos of him arriving at key locations as well as play games and read all about Santa's sleigh, his route and the reindeer that help him. 

It also has its own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

According to the tracker, Santa will call in on 390,000 homes every minute and if he stops for a mince pie at each one, he will have consumed around 71,764,000,000 in one night.

The yearly tradition of tracking Santa's exact whereabouts during Christmas Eve dates back to 1955 when a local ad to speak directly with Santa printed the wrong phone number, instead directing children to a military defense operations center.

They loved the idea, and have carried it on ever since. 

Now, every year, thousands of volunteers staff telephones and computers on Christmas Eve to take around 70,000 phone from over 220 countries. 

Children ask questions such as, when Santa is expected in their town, and is he lactose intolerant?

Before departing on his his globe-trotting Christmas trip , Santa shared a festive message from a snow-covered Finnish Lapland to people around the world:

"I repeat my wish from year to year: Do everyone else the same things that you would like them to do to you and I am sure that the world will be a much, much better place."

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