What does Santa do in the hours leading up to Christmas?
Does he help the elves load up the toys from his workshop? Feed and walk his reindeer? Drink one last cup of coffee?
And once he climbs onto his shiny, red sled, where does he start and end his journey around the world?
Santa’s exact whereabouts have always been a bit of a mystery … but not anymore.
NORAD helps out
Thanks to a new app and updated website, Santa fans of all ages can now track the jolly fellow’s journey wherever in the world he may be.
At a high-security facility in Colorado, military personnel are preparing their radar, satellites and surveillance aircraft to track Santa Claus’ annual journey from the North Pole to deliver presents to homes around the world.
Users can access that information by visiting the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) website — also known as NORAD Tracks Santa — which is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
Or users can download a special NORAD-Santa tracker app for tablets and smartphones that works with Windows, Apple and Google Play devices.
Stacey Knott, a NORAD-Santa spokesperson, says that starting on December 24, anyone with Internet access or a smartphone can visit the website or use the mobile app to see Santa’s route.
“We will be tracking Santa throughout the day on December 24, into the early hours of December 25, and users can see where Santa stops along different locations in the world,” she said.
Users can track Santa to Germany for example, where he’ll likely be handing out sweets to children on a train, or to England, where he’ll be filling children’s stockings with candy and small presents.
“He always starts in the eastern hemisphere,” Knott explained, “and then he makes his way west, following the night sky as he goes around the world and does his flight for about 24 hours.”
He knows when you are sleeping
But just because you can track Santa doesn’t mean you should stay up all night waiting for him to appear, cautions Knott.
In many countries, the white-bearded fellow with the ruddy red cheeks won’t stop at your house if you’re awake.
“He will go on by, so you have got to be in bed and asleep,” Knott said.
And less tech-friendly folks can call the NORAD Tracks Santa operations center, which will be staffed during Santa’s entire ride around the world.
Volunteers will take calls from all over the globe, wishing a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.