Government Shutdown Doesn't Deter Military Volunteers From Beloved Tradition of Tracking Santa

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for a Christmas Eve service at the National Cathedral Monday Dec. 24 2018 in Washington

In 1955, a Colorado Springs paper ad misprinted the number for children to call Santa, with callers instead reaching the CONAD commander in chief's operations "hotline".

To his surprise, a young child had phoned the top secret line after finding a newspaper advert about "Santa's Toyland" from department store Sears, with the number of CONAD, NORAD's predecessor, printed by mistake.

Volunteers will field calls on Santa's location and continue the decades-old tradition.

NORAD Santa tracker Director Preston Schlachter says the website received 20 million hits last Christmas and the call center received 141,000 calls in a 23 hour period just before the Christmas holiday.

It would have been hard for Shoup to imagine his kind gesture for this one little girl would lead to the 1500-strong team of civilian and military volunteers - now known as NORAD Tracks Santa - who answer the phones for tens of thousands of kids today.

Every Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) deploys its cutting-edge technologies to track Santa Claus' movements as he scrambles to deliver presents to children around the world.

The calls flooded in and Shoup instructed his crew to pick up the phones and pretend to be Santa Claus.

It is now operated by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is covered by the Department of Defence's budget that was earmarked earlier this year.

"They're all really sweet, small voices", Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer phones for two previous years, told the news outlet.

'Santa visits all homes where children believe in him, ' it wrote. However, on Christmas Eve it takes on the added responsibility of tracking Santa. A binational command of the US and Canada, NORAD functions year-round to protect and monitor the skies of those two countries.

What about the post office?

In a tweet on Saturday, the postal service said it also would not be impacted by the government shutdown.

Last year, NORAD Tracks Santa received nearly 126,000 phone calls and 18 million website hits. The examination looks at how beliefs around Santa Claus differ over the world, yet there is a specific spotlight on understanding what sort of effect it has on kids when they take in this jolly gift-giving symbol does not exist.

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