Dec 29, 2009 11:03 AM by Matt Stafford

NORAD tracking Santa

Tracking Santa is a big deal to many of the volunteers at NORAD.

"I've called ever since I was six or five," SAYS VOLUNTEER Kyle Boss. "It's just a big tradition to do."

They take in a lot of the holiday cheer their spreading.

"It's very contagious, when they answer really happily it just makes my day," Boss says.

In the 51 years of tracking Santa, technology has evolved.

"I'm getting about an email every three minutes," says John Jackson, a volunteer. "It's amazing, not just what we're doing here, but how the website has developed over the last few years. I believe it's amazing."

This new technology being used, along with Facebook and Twitter, is helping with the load of calls.

"They're coming from all around the world," Lcdr. Gary Ross.

Kyle got several calls from China and some from Norway, and they have an answer for language barriers.

"If there is a Chinese speaking person calls, we go around and say, 'Hey is anyone from China' and some of us also wear these hats (santa hats with labels) like I speak spanish so we have these little labels saying what languages we speak," says Boss.

Despite working on a holiday, they keep coming back.

"We have volunteers who have returned throughout the years and they just get such a great feeling," explains Ross.

"You can hear it in their voices," says Boss. "It really makes their day."

For many of the kids, it makes their night as well.


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