Santa is just hours away from making his annual trip to North America to deliver toys to good girls and boys — and, luckily, it’s easier than ever to keep tabs on Saint Nick.
With the help of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Google, you can discover exactly when Mr. Claus will be in your neck of the woods.
For more than six decades, NORAD has been tracking Santa and his team of reindeer on Christmas Eve.
According to its website, the practice began in 1955 when a local newspaper ad misprinted Santa’s phone number and instead gave out the direct line to Air Force Col. Harry Shoup at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs. Shoup did his best to answer the children’s questions that night, and when NORAD was formed three years later to help protect the airspace over North America, they continued the holiday tradition of tracking Father Christmas for curious (and excited) children and families.
Starting at 2:01 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday morning, viewers could tune in to a livestream of Santa (here) provided by NORAD that showed him making his final preparations before taking Rudolph and his reindeer to the skies.
From there, families can watch Saint Nick on NORAD’s “Santa Cams” as he journeys across the world. Also, anyone can call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to speak with live NORAD trackers, or download the NORAD Tracks Santa Claus app to locate Santa and read more about the holiday for an even more immersive Christmas Eve experience. The organization also has a dedicated Facebook page to give an inside look on their holiday efforts.
Of course, Santa is a popular guy, so NORAD isn’t the only ones keeping eyes on him — Google also provides their own online Santa tracker that offers games for children (or willing adults) to play as they eagerly await the sounds of sleigh bells.
Whichever tracker you use, just make sure the kids are in bed when Santa is headed your way!