NORAD Santa Tracker Launches Today—But Kids May Get Santa's Voicemail This Christmas

Where is Santa right now? As of today, December 1, children all over the world can get ready to begin tracking Santa Claus ahead of Christmas Eve, with the NORAD Tracks Santa website launching today. The Santa Tracker is a tradition that COVID-19 cannot cancel—though things may look a little different this year.

This is the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)'s 65th year of tracking Santa as he makes his way across the globe on Christmas Eve. The tradition began in 1955 when a child called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, thinking she was calling Santa Claus.

Our 65th year of tracking Santa starts tomorrow! #NORADTracksSanta

— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) November 30, 2020

The commander on duty, Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, realized the child's mistake and assured her that Santa would have a safe journey. When NORAD was formed in 1958 the tradition rolled over, and NORAD now reports Santa's location every year on December 24.

Usually, kids from all over the world can track Santa's movements on Christmas Eve by calling up NORAD, as well as using the Santa Tracker website or app. But this year, due to restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, kids calling to check up on Santa's whereabouts may get his voicemail.

NORAD is usually manned by around 150 volunteers who answer the phones to excited children for two-hour shifts on Christmas Eve. This year, there could be fewer than 10 people working each shift, for health and safety reasons.

Therefore, children who can't get through to Santa this year will instead be greeted with a recorded update on his location.

As well as by calling up and checking the website, kids will be able to track Santa using NORAD apps available in both the Apple and Google store. Plus, they can keep up with St. Nick's journey using OnStar and Amazon Alexa.

While kids will have to wait until December 24 for Santa to begin his annual journey, the NORAD Santa tracker website launches today, December 1, and features a countdown, games, videos, music, and more. Additionally, the NORAD Santa Tracker will be updating its social media followers daily, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Any children worrying about Santa's health this Christmas can rest assured that he is immune from catching the coronavirus and will not be spreading it from house to house.

In November, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that "Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity. Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody."

Santa Claus
Santa Claus takes a call on his mobile phone as he waits for visitors at Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, on December 21, 2002. This year, due to COVID restrictions, children calling up NORAD's Santa Tracker may reach his voicemail. Tony Lewis/Getty