Santa Claus is coming to town… But when? | About Verizon
12.21.2017Enterprise Tech

Santa Claus is coming to town… But when?

By: Jennifer Banks

Verizon and NORAD Track Santa on December 24

Watch Video about Verizon celebrates 15 years supporting NORAD Tracks Santa

Père Noël. St. Nick. Saint Nicholas. Kris Kringle. Santa Claus. Without fail, the mystery behind this global legend captivates the imaginations of children and “children at heart” across the world every year. Most years, children begin making their wish lists and writing their letters as soon as they packed away their Halloween costumes – sometimes even earlier. Santa believers even take it one step further. Thousands of kids are actively on the lookout for elf sightings and any early signs of Santa.

On December 24, many continue the excitement by staying awake to track Santa’s journey in real time. In today’s digital era where mobile devices, apps, and email drive communication, families have greater choice in how they keep this tradition alive. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, along with Verizon and other partners, has tracked Santa’s journey from beginning to end for more than 60 years, bringing hope to believers and allowing those who don’t to relive the excitement and anticipation of Santa’s arrival.

It all began on December 24, 1955, when a child accidentally dialed the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. Instead of reaching the local department store that advertised calls to Santa in the local newspaper, a misprint in the phone number led him to CONAD where the commander on duty that night played along with the call.

Three years later, in 1958, the tradition rolled over to the NORAD operations center and is now recognized as one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs.

The NORAD operations center may not be Santa’s actual workshop, but it’s the closest equivalent to it that most of us will see in our lifetimes. Thousands of children contact NORAD every year on December 24, asking for answers on Santa’s whereabouts, favorite cookie recipes, safety, and the reindeer.

For the past 15 years, Verizon’s exceptional network along with the dedicated toll-free number the company provides, has helped the operations center manage upwards of 150,000 calls and emails in one day – all in the name of keeping the magic of Santa alive.

In celebration of the company’s 15th consecutive year of participation, take a look at 15 of the most memorable comments and questions that Verizon volunteers have heard over the years.

  • Are you sure Santa is coming? Are you sure? Are you really, really sure?
  • Are you certified to see the list?
  • When is Santa’s birthday, and how old is he?
  • My dad has a cold, could you please tell Santa to bring some medicine so he can feel better on Christmas day?
  • Are you Santa’s elf? Then why are you answering his cell phone?
  • My mom says Santa likes that true?
  • Have you seen the naughty list this year? Is my brother on it?
  • How does Santa get in the house?
  • What is Santa’s favorite cookie?
  • Does Santa have a unicorn, or is it just reindeer?
  • Can I talk to Santa?
  • Will you call me back when Santa gets to my house?
  • Let Santa know he can wear shorts when he gets here. It’s hot!
  • Will I get more presents if I leave cheese?
  • I was just calling to see if this really worked…

NORAD Tracks Santa is part of the holiday tradition for many, but for those who’ve never participated, the tips and tricks below will ensure you are prepared to make it a magical family experience this season.

  • Phone: The toll-free hotline — 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) — will be in operation beginning at 4 a.m. (Mountain Standard Time) on Dec. 24.
    Keep the Magic Alive
    Program the hotline number into your Verizon phone and save as “Santa’s Workshop.” On Christmas Eve, ask your child to use the voice command to call Santa’s helpers.
  • Email: Starting on Dec. 24, children can send an email to to find Santa’s whereabouts.
    Keep the Magic Alive
    You’ll receive a response that includes Santa’s last known location. Download the NORAD Tracks Santa mobile app in advance to compare the app location with the emailed response.
  • Web: Beginning at 12:01 a.m. MST on Dec. 24, children can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website to see real-time information, including radar maps and streaming “SantaCam” video. Information will be available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
    Keep the Magic Alive
    Santa Cams produce video from Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. Show your children real time photos of Santa’s location from the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
  • Mobile and Social: A free downloadable NORAD Tracks Santa mobile app (iOS, Android) is available or track via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@noradsanta), and YouTube.
    Keep the Magic Alive
    For tech savvy kids, download the app for fun activities throughout the day.

Learn more about Santa’s whereabouts on December 24 

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About the author(s): 

Jennifer Banks is an external communications manager for Verizon writing about enterprise solutions.

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