Tales from the Bonny Blue House

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa is Getting Ready For Flight

I know a lot of homeschool families don't "do" Santa Claus. If you have, like me, made Santa a part of your holiday celebration then a really enjoyable thing to do is to log on to Norad's Santa Tracking Site. From the site: "NORAD is the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada. NORAD was created by a 1958 agreement between Canada and the United States. This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position." If you go to the website they are radar pictures of Santa in a sleigh and his progress around the world. Keep in mind if you live in the Western Hemisphere to start checking early Christmas Eve. Santa starts early on the other side of the world. The site is worth exploring for a wealth of Santa lore. Another cute site is Merriest Place in Cyberspace. The kids can go to Elf School and earn an Elf Diploma. There are Elf buddies and for those who need to be whipped into shape you can log on to Santa's naughty and nice lists and see where everyone stands. If you are feeling particularly merry (or crazy) you can pay $4.95 to call Santa on his sleigh phone. Sounds like the kind of thing a grandma might be talked into doing.


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