Christmas arrived in the South Pacific early today and Santa was right on schedule.
Children (of all shapes, sizes and ages) are again tracking that jolly old elf via the North American Aerospace Defense Command, aka NORAD, with a holiday tradition that dates back to 1955. History tells us that the whole thing started by accident. It turns out that a Colorado department store placed an ad in the local paper for its own Santa hotline, but instead, the number was a misprint, directing phone calls to the regional headquarters of the then-Continental Air Defense Command (which later became NORAD).
This year, NORAD has a pretty sophisticated "tracker"
showing Santa's exact trajectory, where he was last seen (as of 9:30 a.m., Mountain time, he was heading west, toward Novosibirsk, Russia). It also shows how many gifts have been delivered (nearly 1.7 billion and counting).
All in, it's not a bad distraction to show the kids who are practically jumping out of their skin waiting for their own visit tonight.