COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  — Volunteers at the North American Aerospace Defense Command are monitoring Santa Claus as he makes his storybook Christmas Eve flight.

At, Santa can be seen in real time crossing oceans and continents.

The volunteers will spend Wednesday answering phone calls and emails from children and posting updates on the mythical journey to Facebook, Twitter.

The 59-year-old program now has a control center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, and it generates enough statistics, anecdotes and stories to fill a sleigh:

It started in December 1955 when newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa, but the phone number it listed was for the Continental Aerospace Defense Command, the predecessor to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The officers on duty played along and began passing along reports on Santa’s progress.

Kids can call 877-HI-NORAD or email [email protected] starting at 6 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve. A volunteer checks a big-screen computer monitor and passes along Santa’s location. Hundreds of volunteers work for 23 hours on the day — and the night — before Christmas.

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