It’s Christmas Eve so do you know where Santa Claus is right now? If you go to Norad’s ‘Santa Tracker 2008′ you can find out! Read more about it below, see photos and watch a fun video.

Whether you’ve been a naughty liberal like Edward or a good conservative like Micky, surely Santa Claus has something for you this great night!

So trust the good men and women of NORAD to once again put up a Santa Tracker 2008 web site, so that all day and night, we can keep an eye on Santa’s location. This way, we will know when to expect Santa in our own home town and pretend to be asleep all snuggle-ly in our beds, when he comes down our chimney.

NORAD regularly gets calls and e-mails each Christmas Eve from people wanting to know where Santa is. Actually it was a phone call to Norad about Santa’s whereabouts that got the tradition of tracking Santa back in 1955. Here’s how it all began:

A Colorado Springs newspaper printed a Sears, Roebuck & Co. ad telling children of a phone number to talk to Santa. The number was one digit off, and the first child to get through reached the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor and Colonel Harry W. Shoup answered.

Shoup’s daughter, Terri Van Keuren, said her dad, now 91, was surprised to hear that the little voice on the other end thought he was Santa.

“Dad thought, `What the heck? This must be some kind of code,'” said Van Keuren, 59.

Shoup, described by his daughter as “just a nut about Christmas,” didn’t want to break the boy’s heart, so he sounded a booming “Ho, ho, ho!” and pretended to be Santa Claus.

Enough calls followed that Shoup assigned an officer to answer them while the problem was fixed. But Shoup and the staff he was directing to “locate” Santa on radar ended up embracing the idea. NORAD picked up the tradition when it was formed 50 years ago.

“If we didn’t do it, truly I don’t know who else would track Santa,” Maj. Stacia Reddish said

Over the decades, NORAD’s operation has expanded into a full blown Santa Tracker. Two large screens track Santa’s route in NORAD headquarters, while the Santa Tracker website went up in 1997. Last year, NORAD’s Santa tracking center answered 94,000 calls and responded to 10,000 e-mails. About 10.6 million visitors went to the Web site, which can be viewed in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese.

Santa began his route early Wednesday over the International Date Line. The South Pacific is usually the first place NORAD finds Santa, as it will probably take Santa 15 more hours to go through the rest of the world before arriving in here in the United States.

While people can track Santa online, they can also call the Santa Tracker 2008 and talk to Santa themselves while he is on his route. Santa apparently has no problems talking on a cell phone while he’s driving his sleigh, making him a true renaissance man – if not very safe.

The Santa Tracker has taken off as a full blown part of Christmas tradition, with thousands watching the Santa Tracker website, while calling and e-mailing Santa via NORAD. It was even spoofed on Robot Chicken – where NORAD naturally shot down Santa Claus for violating air space. Oopsie!





Norad Santa over the Great Wall of China Video