Thursday, December 24, 2009

Where's Santa?

If your kids are anything like I was between the ages of say birth and now, they're all excited for Santa's arrival tonight. Now, yes, I know that Christmas isn't really about Santa and I truly do love all the religious traditions, but as a kid, nothing beats discovering what sorts of goodies Santa has left under the tree.

When Dave and I were kids, Santa, with help from our parents, would bring us completely one-of-a-kind gifts. One year, Santa brought handmade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that were about 3 feet tall. Sewn into the back of each of their scalps was a message just for Dave and me (you had to move the hair around to find it). They even had red hearts hand stitched on their chests where their hearts would normally be with the words "I love you" stitched inside. In addition to the traditional Raggedy Ann and Andy clothes, each doll came with hand-made pajamas that matched a pair made for each of us that year too.

I remember that gifts from Santa were never wrapped, but they were never in boxes either unless they were puzzles or things like that. A racetrack for Dave would be completely set up and plugged in. A Fisher Price house, garage, farmhouse, or air plane would be complete with people living their lives. They always appeared to look like we just happened upon folks jetting off on vacation, tending to their farm animals, driving to work, or eating dinner in their kitchen. A dollhouse for me would be put together with furniture in the rooms. My dolls always arrived with a full trunk of hand-sewn one-of-a-kind clothes and a custom bed that Santa would have made or at least customized just for me. An artist easel for Dave would have drawing paper, paints, and crayons and be waiting for him to create his next masterpiece. Santa was meticulous in his set up and display, and to this day, I'm not sure how he managed to stop at every house around the world and create such magic for every child. Truthfully, I'm not sure we noticed other gifts because we were so busy playing with our new treasures from Santa.

I would get so excited for Christmas morning that I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve. One Christmas, I guess I finally got to sleep, but distinctly remember being woken up by a noise and believing I saw Santa outside of my window, which scared me so much I was in tears and unable to get back to sleep. My parents weren't happy as they tried to comfort me and tell me that Santa was trying to land on the roof, but now couldn't because I was awake. If only I would go back to sleep, Santa might come back.

I think that my parents would have had an easier time getting me to go to bed on Christmas Eve with the NORAD Santa Tracker. They could have shown me exactly how close Santa was and how he was prepared to fly over our house if I didn't hurry and get to bed. Fortunately, you can use this helpful tool to cajole your kids into bed tonight.

According to the Huffington Post, NORAD uses some pretty high-tech tools to track Santa: "four high-tech systems to track Santa - radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets."

You can even track Santa's whereabouts online at or on your iPhone (unless you're busy using your iPhone to send Festivus greetings) or other smart phone at And yes, you can track Santa on Twitter.

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