You better watch out! U.S. military to ‘track Santa Claus’

Millions are signing up online to “track” the global flight path of Santa Claus and his reindeer

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Every year around this time, we’re told to “watch out,” “not cry,” and are constantly reminded of what happened “last Christmas.”

But now, the lyrics to the songs – that make many of us feel so warm inside – have an cheeky flair to them.

Millions are signing up online to “track” the global flight path of Santa Claus and his reindeer, as the personnel of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) began their 24 hour search for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

NORAD, a U.S.-Canadian operation based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., continues the tradition every Christmas Eve.

Last year, volunteers answered 114,000 phone calls from around the world, according to The Associated Press. The website had 22.3 million unique visitors. NORAD Tracks Santa had 1.2 million followers on Facebook and 129,000 on Twitter.

“Deploying the latest social media tools to chart the progress of an ancient traveler, NORAD’s Christmas Eve Santa Tracker is expected to hit another record this year, bolstered by an unusual dose of controversy about the ‘militarization’ of the season,” the Daily Telegraph reported.

NORAD says Santa usually starts in the South Pacific and hits New Zealand and Australia before heading to Japan and Asia. Africa and Europe are next, followed by North America and South America. "Santa calls the shots," NORAD says on its website. "We just track him!"

And how did the tradition start? In 1955, a local newspaper advertisement invited children to call Santa but mistakenly listed the hotline of NORAD's predecessor. But rather than disappoint the kids, commanders told them they indeed knew where Santa was, AP reported.

(With the Associated Press)

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