The NORAD annual Santa Tracker—a program that follows Santa’s trip around the world while fielding calls from inquiring children—won’t be affected by the government shutdown, the organization said in tweet. “In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24,” the organization wrote. “Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year.” NPR reports that the heartwarming tradition began when a local Sears invited children to call Santa Claus “any time day or night” in a 1955 newspaper ad, but mistakenly printed the number for an Air Force Colonel’s private hotline. When a child called the hotline asking for Santa, the colonel who answered went along with the rouse, and later instructed his airmen to keep playing the part. To reach one of Santa’s helpers this Christmas Eve, call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or email email@example.com.
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