Knowing where Santa is on Christmas Eve is almost as important as what he is bringing. You can imagine all the queries Team Santa receives on his whereabouts as he and the reindeer make their annual spin around the globe. Mostly, it’s some version of, “When are you getting to my house?”
But, Santa is too busy dropping off presents to give his ETA to everyone who asks, and besides, estimating the arrival of a sleigh and eight or so reindeer moving at what is likely hypersonic speed is no simple task. Unless you are the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which does that kind of thing all day long.
Usually, NORAD keeps its data to itself, but this is Santa, so they have set up their annual NORAD Tracks Santa site to share tracking data. Beginning at 6 a.m. EST on December 24, kids (and kids at heart) can receive live updates on Santa’s whereabouts by calling the toll-free number, 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).
Which begs the question: Who is answering what NORAD estimates are more than 150,000 calls? As established, Santa is very busy, the elves are exhausted, and the reindeer don’t like to talk on the phone. The answer is: 1,250 American and Canadian uniformed personnel and Department of Defense civilian volunteers, using the cloud-based contact service Amazon Connect.
When on-site volunteers become busy, NORAD can simply transfer Santa-tracking queries to volunteers working remotely. Remote volunteers make it possible to take thousands of additional calls about Santa’s whereabouts from children all over the world.
Live Santa Tracker 2023 FAQs
- Is the NORAD Santa tracker real?That’s like asking whether Santa is real. Of course it’s real.
- What does the Santa tracker actually track?Santa, and his reindeer, and your presents ... if you weren’t asking so many questions.
- When did NORAD start tracking Santa?This will be the 68th year NORAD has partnered with Santa to offer the service.
- How did the NORAD Santa tracker start?Santa needed a bit of help, and NORAD had the tracking chops to do it.
- How can I track Santa Claus?1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723)
- Are Santa and his team using generative AI?You bet. While his bright red outfit and beard may not scream it, Santa is very much on the leading edge of technology, including generative artificial intelligence (generative AI). Remember, Santa and the team have a huge amount to do in a short period of time so they are always looking for new ways to get their work done faster. Santa and the elves are experimenting with AI-generated gift suggestions, novel toy designs, new carol lyrics, and even recipes for cookies that are a touch healthier for the reindeer and the broader elf team.