NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Charles D. Luckey joins other volunteers taking phone calls from children around the world asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their homes, inside a phone-in center during the 2014 NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Hundreds of military and civilian volunteers at NORAD expect to field more than 100,000 calls through Christmas Day. Associated Press/Brennan Linsley, file)

Some government workers refused to let the budget impasse spoil their Christmas cheer.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, an essential agency, said it would continue its 63-year tradition of tracking Santa Claus on a sleigh despite the government shutdown. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who answer phone calls about Santa’s whereabouts.

The tracking begins Monday and continues through Christmas Day.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website, available in eight languages, received 18 million visitors, and about 4.5 million people used Alexa devices and the ‘NORAD Tracks Santa Claus’ mobile app to track Santa last year, according to a news release.

Hotline volunteers answered 126,103 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa 877 HI-NORAD hotline in 2017, according to a news release.


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