NORAD Santa trackers draw record number of phone calls, social media followers

Volunteers take phone calls from children asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their house, during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday Dec. 24, 2012. Over a thousand volunteers at NORAD handle more than 100,000 thousand phone calls from children around the world every Christmas Eve, with NORAD continually projecting Santa's supposed progress delivering presents. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - NORAD says it drew a record number of phone calls and social media followers during its NORAD Tracks Santa operation on Christmas Eve.

The North American Aerospace Defence Command said Friday volunteers answered more than 114,000 calls, up 12,000 from 2011.

NORAD's Santa Facebook page had more than 1.2 million followers, up from about 1 million last year. More than 129,000 people followed on Twitter, up from 101,000 last year.

NORAD got 11,000 emails, up from 7,700 in 2011.

More than 1,250 volunteers answered phone calls, including first lady Michelle Obama.

NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955 when a newspaper listed the wrong number for children to call Santa. They wound up calling the Continental Air Defence Command, NORAD's predecessor.

The operation is based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.


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