Track Santa’s journey around Earth this Christmas

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HARTFORD — He knows when you are sleeping, and he knows when you’re awake. But do you know where Santa is?

Now, you can!

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, tracks Santa’s progress around the globe every Christmas so that kids everywhere can know where he is at all times. You can find him here, or call 1-877-I-NORAD (446-6723). Google also has a Santa tracker with some games and other treats, which you can find here.

But have you ever wondered how the fabulous service started?

Well, according to CNNMoney, a Sears in Colorado Springs ran a “dial Santa” ad 60 years ago, but accidentally printed the number for the Continental Air Defense Command center–now known as NORAD–instead of the hotline.

Col. Harry Shoup was working on Christmas Eve in 1955 at NORAD, and began getting calls from kids hoping to speak to Santa. Instead of turning them away, he said he couldn’t get St. Nick on the phone, but he could help track him down with radar. And the tradition has kept up ever since!

“The Santa Tracker uses the same technology that’s powering the government’s critical systems,” said Susan Keys, head of Avaya Government Solutions, which handles the call center. “Of course, it’s more sophisticated tech today than it was 60 years ago.”

Additional reporting from CNN.