Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year.
The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. "When you die you just rot in the ground and get eaten by worms". That's tracking Santa Claus when he enters Canadian Airspace on Christmas Eve.
The president was spending a rare Christmas in Washington because of a stalemate with Congress over government funding that left several departments and agencies shuttered since the weekend, affecting the livelihoods of some 800,000 federal employees.
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The Operation Santa plan called for a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee to meet Santa over Lake Superior.
In a Christmas Eve call with a young child Monday night, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman whether he or she still believes in Santa Claus, saying that was a "marginal" age for knowing the truth. "'Cause at 7 it's marginal, right?"
It was not immediately clear whether Coleman chose to forego leaving cookies and milk out for Santa this year.
And in recent years, some children calling the where's-Santa-now hotline have been treated to a one-on-one conversation with the first lady or leader of the free world, who usually dispense good cheer and happy holiday wishes. We use infrared satellite to sense the heat given off from Rudolph's red nose, to give us an initial idea of where Santa and his sleigh are.
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.