By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Christmas may still be weeks away, but children and their parents can begin preparing for the big day with a pair of Santa tracking websites.READ MORE: President Biden To Visit Michigan May 18
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is preparing to once again track Santa’s journey with a games and activities leading up to Jolly Elf’s journey.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website is now live and features both desktop and mobile versions with a holiday countdown, games, daily activities and additional features. Additionally, The website is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese,and Chinese.
Leading up to Christmas Eve, NORAD is also running a “Name the Elf” contest where visitors can name the best elf name idea on social media sites. The top three suggestions will be put to vote.READ MORE: USPS To Host Drive-Thru Job Fair In Southfield On Thursday
In addition to the websites, there are also NORAD Tracks Santa apps in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores. Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.
Parents and children can watch Santa make preparations starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 24. Starting at 6 a.m. EST, Santa trackers worldwide can call 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to speak with a live phone operator to ask about Santa’s whereabouts or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to find Santa.
NORAD began tracking Santa in 1955 when a local advertisement directing children to call Santa direct had misprinted telephone number. Instead of calling the North Pole, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. NORAD has carried on the tradition since it was created in 1958.MORE NEWS: Michigan State University Ends Outdoor Mask Mandate
Google is also offering families the opportunity to check on Santa’s progress through its Santatracker website. The site features games, new daily features and the opportunity to call to friends from Santa.