If your children are wondering just how far Santa will have to fly to land on their Dallas roof, remember there is lots of help available to track Santa’s progress, even as you are reading or watching the classic, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with your little ones. Norad tells us that as this is written, Santa is enjoying his last meal before take-off and looking forward to milk and cookies at your home.
NORAD uses exciting high-tech systems to track Santa including radar, satellites, video cameras and fighter jets.
Tracking system #1: Begins in the North Pole through a powerful radar system strung across the northern border of Canada. On Christmas Eve the system searches for indications Santa has left the North Pole.
Tracking system #2: After lift-off, satellites equipped with infrared sensors detect Rudolph’s red nose heat signature.
Tracking system #3: A network of high-speed digital cameras positioned at many locations around the world.
Tracking system #4: Visual confirmation from fighter jets welcoming Santa to North America and beyond. Pilots will keep a keen eye out for Santa and his famous reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.
Once all this information is collected it is placed into Google Maps and Google Earth so that families all over the world can track Santa.
To contact NORAD on Christmas Eve, call 877 HI-NORAD (447-6723) to talk directly to a NORAD staff member who will tell you Santa’s exact location.
You can also e-mail NORAD at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also track Santa on your phone by searching ‘Santa’ on Google Maps.
Dallas parents never need to be told that, while tracking Santa and waiting for little ones to fall asleep, nothing beats the original poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” traditionally delivered as written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822 to help create Christmas Eve memories. A favorite animated video is provided on the left sidebar, based on the 1949 Golden Book, llustrated by Corinne Malvern and beautifully narrated by Robin Williams.
If you had rather snuggle with your children and read to them yourself, the poem follows :
Twas the Night before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”