How long till Santa's sleigh takes flight?

Tribune Staff • Dec 15, 2016 at 9:38 AM

Christmas is coming, and with it comes the building excitement of Santa Claus making his annual trek around the globe, bringing toys to all the good girls and boys. 

Keep track of exactly how long until Santa’s sleigh takes flight below: 


For 60 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

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