Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Santa Tracker: When will NORAD start tracking Santa for Christmas 2022?

Santa and his sleigh (Tumisu/Pixabay)

One of the most beloved Christmas traditions started as a typo.

In December 1955, a young boy dialed a number he found in a Sears ad that promised a direct line to Santa. The number was a misprint, however, and instead of Sears, the number was the unlisted line for what was then known as the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

CONAD is now known as NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the military organization charged with defending the homeland.

Col. Harry Shoup was on duty that night but rather than hanging up on the boy, Shoup had operators find the location of Santa and report it to the child. Other children began to call and Shoup put airmen on the line to relay Santa’s location.

Some airmen later joined in the fun, drawing a sleigh and eight reindeer coming over the North Pole into the U.S. That inspired Shoup to call a local radio station and report an “unidentified flying object” that looked like a sleigh.

The radio stations began calling every hour to inquire on Santa’s whereabouts.

And the tradition was born.

Shoup – who carried letters from children in his briefcase the rest of his life – became known as the “Santa Colonel.” He died in 2009.

How to track Santa

The tradition Shoup started lives on with NORAD where thousands of volunteers fill in each year to report on Santa and his whereabouts.

Starting Dec. 24, good boys and girls around the globe can contact NORAD to find Santa’s exact location. They can do that several ways: call the toll-free number 1-877-HI-NORAD, send an email to [email protected] or track via NORAD’s social media accounts.

You can see more of Santa’s journey and what is going on at the North Pole at

NORAD typically received more than 111,000 calls from 200 countries on Christmas Eve and answers some 12,000 emails. Corporate sponsors foot the bill for the Santa Tracker and no tax dollars are used in the program.

When will Santa be at my house on Christmas?

According to NORAD, Santa usually starts his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west, visiting the South Pacific first then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia then onto western Europe, Canada, the United States and Mexico and Central and South America.

“Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by the weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch tine but from that point one, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!” NORAD said.

NORAD officials said while the exact time is unknown it appears Santa arrives only when children are asleep, generally between 9 p.m. and midnight local time.


© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC