Santa Claus is coming to town

Sydney Koncsol, Staff Writer

Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel and St. Nick are all nicknames for the magical Santa Claus. Led by nine flying reindeer, Mr. Claus delivers presents, or coal, to children around the world each year. However, it is quite a feat to travel around the world in one night, so the question is, how does he do it?

After extensive research, it has been found that Mr. Claus begins his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. He moves west from this point.

His deliveries begin in New Zealand with eighteen stops. He then starts a zig-zag pattern up and down continuing West. 

His next stops take him through Asia, with approximately 189 visits. He then proceeds to go through Europe and Africa, and eventually to the Americas.

This travel route totals to 178,899 miles with over 500 stops. These locations include everywhere from a random highway in the United States of America to the Great Wall of China.

All of this data is based on the Official North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker. NORAD has been tracking Mr. Claus’s movements on Christmas Eve for 60 years.

The tracker works through a series of systems. The first is a radar called the North Warning System. This system has 47 installations throughout the United States and Canada, and it is monitored very closely to see when Mr. Claus leaves the North Pole. Then, satellites are used to track the movement of his sleigh, and especially Rudolph’s nose.

Mr. Claus is given a warm welcome to North America, where the NORAD tracker is run, by Canadian fighter jets. As he travels South, American planes take over and fly with the reindeer.

 Many Central students have watched and loved the NORAD tracker every Christmas Eve. 

Marlyse Rexroth, a senior, remembers her tradition of watching the NORAD tracker with her dad each year.

“I always got so excited and it would make me want to go to sleep because my parents told me that Santa wouldn’t come if I wasn’t sleeping,” Rexroth said.

Similarly, senior Chloe Carns watched the tracker with her cousins and siblings.

Carns said, “My favorite part of the Santa tracker was when he would get close to my aunt’s house because it was exciting knowing he would be there soon.”

As Carns and Rexroth both remember eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival, just as many people are this year. NORAD’s tracker is counting down until Mr. Claus makes his journey, so make sure you are on the nice list.