NORAD will still track Santa, despite the government shutdown

It's Christmas Eve! One of the most magical parts of Christmas is keeping track of where Santa is as he delivers gifts all across the world.

Legend has it that the tradition dates back to the '50s, when a misprinted newspaper ad for a Santa hotline accidentally gave out NORAD's phone number.

Rather than disappoint the callers, Col. Harry Shoup, CONAD director of operations, had his staff check the radar for indications Santa had left the North Pole and begun his travels.

Instead, they listed the number of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

However, the Santa tracker budget was approved earlier this year and the phones are manned by 1,500 civilian and military volunteers who will answer the phones for children calling 1-877-HI-NORAD.

During the partial government shutdown, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will still run its famed "Santa tracker" during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The calls flooded in and Shoup instructed his crew to pick up the phones and pretend to be Santa Claus. The Defense Department has already received its full federal funding for the year, however, and is not affected.

Track Santa's progress with the help of NORAD's annual Live Santa Tracker.

Santa will zig zag his way up and down Australia, making sure to visit every child's house before departing Australian airspace as he heads towards our northern neighbours.

NORAD's commander, Air Force Gen. Terrence J.

NORAD, a joint effort of the United States and Canada, has been monitoring Santa's reindeer-powered movements since 1955.

The shutdown means 800,000 federal employees will not be paid from Saturday and many government operations will be disrupted.

What about the post office?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service will not be impacted by the shutdown, it announced.

This year, Canadians can keep tabs on Santa's journey on the 2018 NORAD Santa Tracker website, the official Facebook and Twitter pages, and via NORAD's official Santa Tracker app, available for Apple, Android and Windows devices.

  • Joey Payne