Merry Christmas to all of my readers that celebrate the holiday! I spent Christmas Eve doing one of the best volunteer gigs out there - NORAD Tracks Santa! Last year was the first year I participated and it's hard not to love being a Santa tracker. I'm so fortunate to live in this area where participating is a reality for me. Sign-ups go really quickly, so I've been stalking volunteer notices via my military email for a while now, as well as the Peterson AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center Facebook page. As soon as I spotted them, I was signing up.
I purposely chose an earlier time slot this year (0600 - 0800 MST), in hopes of getting some phone calls from more distant countries. It did help some, and I got calls from South Africa, Germany, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and a few from Canada (including a radio station in Ontario). Once the stateside children started calling in, I had a slew of calls from Pennsylvania. Those kids were on it! I publicize my direct line on my personal FB page, as well as the AHE page this year, as I love getting calls from friends' children. I make a great effort to be a good tracker too, and apparently I do a good job. I listened in on a call that a friend's children made later and the tracker had a flat personality. This just doesn't do in my world!
Santa Trackers are prepared to answer a number of questions, and I got some fun ones this year! We have a general script for frequently asked questions, but we're pretty much given free reign on the oddball ones.
- Who does Santa like better, One Direction or Justin Bieber? [I answered One Direction - good thing the caller was a bigger One Direction fan.]
- What if the Tooth Fairy bumps into Santa? - Girl with a wiggly tooth. [I told her she'd have twice the magic that night if she lost her tooth!]
- Why does Santa use a sleigh and not a car? [Clearly, because a car would sink crossing the ocean, although I didn't word it so morbidly.]
- Does Santa use the sleigh other times of the year? [Of course, even Santa needs a vacation!]
- Does Santa want chocolate milk or white milk? [Let's mix it up with the chocolate milk.]
I hope my readers with younger children called in yesterday! NORAD Tracks Santa is a great way to get your kids into bed at a decent hour on Christmas Eve! I stressed the fact that if you weren't in bed by the time Santa came (he arrives between nine and midnight in your appropriate time zone), he doesn't stop by. Hopefully I helped some parents out by striking their children with fear of a gift-less holiday. ;)
Happy holidays to you all!