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NORAD tracks Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve Yuletide Trek

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Christmas Eve is here in New York City and all over the world! And that can only mean one thing …. Santa and his sleigh are loaded with toys for good boys and girls, and powered by nine magical and lovable reindeer – including Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer has taken off from the North Pole to make his yearly Christmas flight.

The interactive NORAD Santa Tracker went live last night at 8 p.m. Eastern. Right now, you can head over to NoradSanta.org to see the countdown clock ticking down to that hour.

NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is tracking Santa and his reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph, as they speed across the world to deliver presents in time for Christmas.

To keep Santa and his special reindeer crew safe, NORAD fighter jets from Canada and the United States fly with Santa to make sure his route is clear. Special radar technology and Santa Cams stationed around the world track Santa’s every move throughout the night.

Santa is thrilled to have the fighter jets travel with him on his yuletide journey. According to Santa Claus “They do a great job looking after me. I used to do it all myself but since NORAD started helping out in the 1950’s I can be a lot quicker and I know my route is safe,” Santa told reporters at the North Pole shortly before taking off early this morning.

YES … Santa Claus is comin’ to town, and you can find him but he won’t be on Google maps anymore. But don’t despair -- you can still track Santa’s arrival …you’ll have to do it on Bing maps now.

NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has switched from Google Maps to Microsoft’s Bing maps for its annual NORAD Tracks Santa project.

This is the first time NORAD is inserting Bing maps into the interactive experience and there will be three different Smartphone apps to track Santa this Christmas. You and your children can spot and pinpoint Santa through Bing maps available on the iPhone, and Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

And Santa will be plugged in! While he’s flying around the world Mrs. Claus and the elves will be handling Santa’s social media. You can LIKE “Tracking Santa” on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and watch his video on YouTube.

The new Santa Tracker lives on the web at http://www.google.com/santatracker and there is a new Chrome extension and Android app to let you follow Santa.

Google built out an entire Santa site where you can provide information about your a friend or family member and have Santa give them a call or send them an audio message via email. There are also some games and the Santa Racer game lets you navigate Santa's sleigh through a track and collect presents and the Present Drop game lets you drop presents into moving chimneys.

Santa Clause was last sighted flying over Australia, wearing his bright red weatherproofed suite to keep him warm and dry. According to NORAD, Rudolph’s bright red nose was put through pre-flight tests and registered an astounding 36,000 lumens! That means that NORAD’s radar installations can detect Santa’s sleigh, even in extreme blizzard conditions. The Santa Cams used by NORAD on Christmas Eve, can spot and photograph objects as large as 100 lollipops long and 55 lollipops wide.

While Santa Clause races across the world tonight, his tired elves can finally rest. Kerstmis Fatato, Santa’s Chief Elf told NORAD officials during an official press conference, that the elves worked hard all year to make “20 million dolls of many varieties, and 30 million different kinds of building and construction blocks.” Santa’s Workshop used 1,123,595 ½ miles of ribbon to wrap gifts for a record 1.9 billion children, and the elves used 1.6 billion cups of sugar to make 5 billion candy canes.

NORAD radar will continue to track Rudolph’s bright red nose throughout Christmas Eve, using satellite imagery, providing minute-by-minute coverage of Santa’s location. Children can check NORAD’s Santa tracker here, which also provides a Google search view of Santa Claus.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!

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Ross Ellis is also the Examiner for:

National Parenting Examiner
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