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Where’s Saint Nick? The Christmas Eve Santa Tracking War Is Underway
December 24, 2012
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santa-tracker-feature.jpg

Tonight, Santa will hop on his sleigh and cross the globe, delivering gifts to good little boys and girls (and free lumps of coal to the bad ones!).

But how can those kids keep track of exactly where Saint Nick is as the night progresses?

Well, for the last 63 years, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has offered kids a real-time, military-grade solution for keeping an eye on Santa. It's called NORAD Tracks Santa.

The system used to keep kids up to date with Santa's whereabouts via telephone. But when the internet came along, NORAD created a Santa Tracker website where Santa fans could monitor the jolly old guy's journey across the planet (click the image to check it out).

santa-tracker-norad.jpg

Well in 2012, for the first time, NORAD has some high-profile competition.

Here's what happened: starting in 2007, NORAD and Google worked together on a NORAD Tracks Santa site. But this year, when their five-year agreement was done, the defense agency switched over to Microsoft's Bing.

Rather than giving up on the Santa-tracking game, though, Google has created its own version of the site this year, called the Santa Tracker. Click the image below to check it out.

santa-tracker-google.jpg

What does all this conflicting coverage of the gift-giving flight mean for Santa fans? Probably "some very confused children" later tonight, according to the Atlantic Wire.

Since Google and Microsoft/NORAD aren't working together, the two sites will almost certainly have different flight plans for Santa.

Any kid that's watching both sites will have some tough questions about which Santa tracker is accurate, whether Santa likes Google or Microsoft more, or maybe even whether scientists have succeeded in cloning Kris Kringle.

One thing is clear. Both sites know what the true meaning of the holiday season is all about: getting more hits on your website than your competitor does.

And to all a good night.

Related:

Autistic Kids Deserve Some Santa Time, Too. With "Quiet Santa" And "Sensitive Santa," They Get It

CHRISTMAS THING OF THE DAY: The History of Santa Claus

Nicole Appleton Would Never Lie to Santa Claus

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