- Children who called the US military’s North American Aerospace Defence Command to get updates on Santa Claus’ progress on Christmas Eve were greeted by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Monday night.
- Together, the Trumps answered some of the phone calls in what has become an annual tradition for the first couple.
- Trump asked one caller if he still believed in Santa, saying that “at seven [years old], it’s marginal, right?”
Children who called the US military’s North American Aerospace Defence Command to track Santa Claus’ annual trip around the world were greeted by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Christmas Eve Monday.
Together, the Trumps answered some of the phone calls in what has become an annual tradition for the first couple.
“Are you still a believer in Santa Claus,” Trump asked a 7-year-old on the phone in the State Dining Room of the White House. “[Because] at seven, it’s marginal, right?”
“What’s Santa going to get you for Christmas,” Trump asked another child. “Have a great Christmas, and I’ll talk to you again, OK?”
“Are you tracking Santa,” Mrs. Trump to her caller. “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.”
“Do you know where [Santa] is?” Mrs. Trump asked another child. “I hope your dreams come true.”
NORAD’s 63-year tradition of tracking Santa started after a newspaper ad in Colorado encouraged kids to dial an fictitious number to the Continental Air Defence Command, NORAD’s predecessor: “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number,” the advertisement said.
More kids began calling in to CONAD, and instead of hanging up, operators began giving out Santa’s location.
Today, around 1,500 volunteers are taking phone calls and replying to emails from people around the globe. Over 140,000 phone calls are made to NORAD’s Santa hotline and the website receives about 9 million unique visitors each year, according to NORAD.