Southern California breaking news and trends

NORAD tracks Santa: You can too

norad tracks santa


When the North American Aerospace Defense Command isn't busy monitoring the sky for missile attacks, space invaders and drug-smuggling planes in President Obama's air space, they're outright stalking dutifully tracking Santa Claus. 

TRACK SANTA map will tell you:
  • Where Santa Claus was last spotted.
  • Where Santa Claus is headed next. 
  • How many presents have been delivered so far.

At the time of publication the big man in red was leaving Cape Town, South Africa and heading to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 3,183,123,460 gift had been delivered.





  • Interactive north pole-themed page with dozens of kid and reindeer-friendly games.
  • Houses a host of hidden games and challenges.
FAQs (for advanced questions, like:)
  • Why does NORAD track Santa?
  • When will Santa arrive at my house?
  • Does Santa visit everyone (i.e. Afghanistan, Israel, non-Christian countries)?
  • How can Santa travel the world within 24 hours?
  • How does Santa get down chimneys?
  • Do your planes ever intercept Santa?

2012 NORAD Tracks Santa (HD)


ORIGIN STORY of NORAD's 50+ year tradition of tracking Santa goes like this:

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.


Map: SoCal holiday guide to Christmas tree lighting ceremonies

mile of christmas trees postcard

Image via

altadena christmas tree street postcard

Image via Vintage Postcard Blog

christmas tree lane

Photo by Konrad Summers via Flickr Creative Commons

Bulbs are bright across Southern California as holiday tree lighting ceremonies set ablaze the next phase of seasonal consumption. If you're underwhelmed by moonlight and wish instead to see nature electrified and covered in glitter, this is a great week to be alive.

At the Grove and Americana, Caruso Christmas has already climbed to a combined 200 feet of festive white fir that's been fashioned with more than 50,000 lights and ornaments. Elsewhere, L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich led the county's official tree-lighting ceremony Monday at the Music Center while City Councilman Bernard Parks presided over the 10th annual event in South Los Angeles.

Below is a list of local lighting ceremonies still to come. Is there an event in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.



Goodbye Halloween; Hello 92-foot Christmas tree

christmas tree fashion island

Photo via

One day after Halloween, still spooked from the sugar shock of a high-calorie haunting, SoCal shoppers were asked Thursday to digest a 92-foot Christmas tree, and all the gift-wrapped casseroles it implies.

The OC Register reports that 10 workers spent three hours unloading a half-century old white fir for a mall holiday display at Newport Beach's Fashion Island.

The towering tree trekked from Mount Shasta early on Nov. 1 and began the transformation from carbon dioxide-eating conifer into ornamented showpiece.

The OC tree, one of the tallest installations in the country, officially goes up mid-month and will be used for firewood and mulch when it comes down in January.