23 December, 2015

Norad make Christmas magical for me ... every year xxx

    Photo source here

I didn't intend to blog today, it's Christmas Day after all but last night . . . well, something really magical happened.  We had everyone over for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and it was a bit sad because it's Eoin and Za's last one here with us for a while and it was also a bit sad because during the year my mam's big serving plates got smashed - not normally a big deal but it was a way of including them.  This year though we invited Himself's family and boosted the numbers up to a whopping 12 adults and 3 kids (my Turkish Delight doesn't count yet as she doesn't need a chair).  It was a great night, kids were delighted with themselves, the gravy was out of this world and the company was second to none.  But the 'magic'?  Well, Himself handed me his phone and said 'you're onto Norad - Santa Tracker'.  There was a lovely man at the end of the phone and I told him who I was and were I was ringing from and then I asked the big question 'When will Santa be here?'  He said 'M'am, he'll be in Dublin, Ireland, between nine and midnight but ONLY if the children are asleep.  He'll call back later if they're not.  He's making good time because of the winds, Happy Christmas Ma'am.  Goodnight.'  To say I nearly peed with excitement.  I love that there are men and women (I rang FOUR times) who are at bases and doing this for all of us.  
I pulled the following article from ABC News. Promise me you'll ring them next year, you can check the whereabouts of the Big Man on 001 719 556 5211.  It's the most wonderful thing ever.

On Christmas Eve, children all around the world will lie awake  wondering if, at any moment, Santa Claus will slide down their chimneys and leave the presents of their dreams. But all they really have to do is call in or go online to find out where Santa and his team of reindeers are at any given moment.
Every year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa’s journey around the world, using radar, satellite, fighter aircraft and, of course, a “Santa Cam.”
The tradition began as so many do – by accident. In 1955, a little girl who saw a Sears and Roebuck ad called in to what she thought was a Talk-to-Santa hotline. But she did not hear Santa Claus on the other end of the line.
Instead, she heard Col. Harry Shoup. He was working in the CONAD ops center (NORAD’s predecessor) and was shocked to hear a child’s voice. According to a NORAD spokesperson, John Cornelio, only two people had the number for that line – the president and the four-star  commander.
As it turned out, the department store had printed the wrong number in the ad and alas, a  tradition was born.
“It’s the innocence of the story that makes it so special,” Cornelio said. And Harry Shoup was given a new title- he is known as  Santa Colonel.
Since that innocent phone call more than 50 years ago, NORAD tracks Santa’s progress around the globe, year after year.
To track his journey this Christmas Eve, you can visit the NORAD website, or call in to 877-HI-NORAD.
The NORAD Santa Tracker also uses social media to connect with Santa enthusiasts. NORAD has Facebook and Twitter pages, and a YouTube channel. And this year, for the first time, NORAD has a smart phone application for Andriod and iPhone users.
NORAD expects more than 80,000 phone calls and 20 million people using its website to track Santa this year.
So come Christmas Eve, when not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, break the silence and see just how close Santa is to bringing joy to your area.

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