On the lookout for Santa?
It’s never too early to keep up with the jolly old elf, and there are a couple of apps that can help.
Both the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Google have their radars powered up, ready for the annual one-night, round-the-world-flight of a certain resident of the North Pole.
For more than 60 years, NORAD has turned all of its tracking capabilities toward following the progress of Santa Claus and his reindeer as he takes flight on Christmas Eve. For the hardcore Santa follower, NORAD’s website does not disappoint.
In the run-up to the big day, visitors can head to the website to watch a movie, play some games, hear some music and learn about St. Nicholas, his elves and his sleigh. NORAD also has a presence at the North Pole.
NORAD, as it has done for decades, provides updates by phone -- call 877-HI-NORAD on Christmas Eve, a live person will give you an update). Times being what they are, you can, of course, follow Santa on Facebook, Twitter and even shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org.) NORAD's Santa operations center opens at 9 a.m. Dec. 24
You can go to NORAD’s tracking site here.
Over at Google, it’s been only 13 years since Santa has been on their radar, literally, and they have pulled out all the Christmas stops this year.
Google’s Santa Tracker includes Santa’s Village. There is a countdown clock there, too, and as we move toward Dec. 24, the village unlocks new games and experiences for visitors.
Google also reminds users that you can search for Santa directly in Google Maps and google.com in addition to using the Santa Tracker. You can even go into Street View to look at the cities he is visiting as he makes his trip to deliver toys.
For those who want to speak Santa into existence – at least his location on Christmas Eve – you can ask Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant, or Google Home the question, “Where is Santa?” and get an answer.
Of course, the burning question is “When will Santa arrive at my house?” While Santa has his own schedule, he generally makes it to most homes between 9 a.m. and midnight (local time).
As Santa has made clear for centuries if the kids are not asleep in a given home, he’s moving on to the next house.