We’re on winter storm watch here (like always 😀 at this time of year) and just like so much of the country this Christmas, but there is no need to worry ~ NORAD will be watching to track Santa’s progress for all the kiddos out there.
Every day of the year, Cheyenne’s Mountain (AKA Stargate to many SYFY fans 😀 ) NORAD defends North America using an all-domain and globally integrated approach to track everything that flies in and around Canada and the United States. But, on Dec. 24, NORAD adds a VERY special mission ~ tracking Santa Claus.
Like so many origin stories, NORAD’s mission to track Santa truly began with an accident when in 1955 a young child, trying to reach Santa, dialed a misprinted phone number from a department store ad in the local newspaper and instead of calling Santa, the child reached the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night who answered the child’s phone call, was quick to realize a mistake had been made and assured the child he was Santa. After more incoming calls, Shoup assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls and a tradition was born, that continued when NORAD was formed in 1958.
Each year since, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families across the world. Because of the support, services and resources generously provided by volunteers and our government and corporate contributors, NORAD Tracks Santa has persevered for more than 65 years.
In fact, what started because of a typo has flourished and is recognized as one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs.
Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives several million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers typically answer more than 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children across the globe.
In addition to the phone line and website, children and the young-at-heart can track Santa through our mobile apps and social media platforms:
NORAD Tracks Santa Website: https://www.noradsanta.org
NORAD Tracks Santa Newsroom: https://noradsantanews.com/newsroom
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
- The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
- Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
- Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
- The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
- The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
- The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
- Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
- The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
- Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
- The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
- The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
- The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
So that is your history lesson for today. Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone – and, remember, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days starting December 25th and the Christmas Season runs until Epiphany, January 6.