Speed Reads

santa claus is coming to town

Track Santa's trip around the globe in 3D with a little help from NORAD and Google

In 1955, a Sears advertisement mistakenly printed a top secret military phone number in an ad inviting local children to call Santa Claus. But when a little boy got through to Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, he played along, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa's trip around the world every year since.

In partnership with Google, NORAD now offers a 3D Santa tracker online, visualizing Saint Nick in his sleigh as he darts from chimney to chimney. (As of this writing, he's over open ocean on the way to Singapore.)

So if Santa's your thing, head over to NORADSanta.org to keep tabs on his progress. Or, if he isn't, check out this analysis from Vocativ's Alexandra Ossola for The Week on why you're totally right not to lie to your kids about a mythical elf.