Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Track Santa and have the right answers for grandchildren

December 2016

santa flying through the sky

Nearly 70 years ago, on December 24th 1948, the United States Air Force issued a message claiming that an early warning radar net to the north had detected one unidentified sleigh driven by eight reindeer at 14,000 feet heading due south.

This was the start of what has become magnificent magical Santa Tracking ideas for children the world over.

The best known and most used in the UK is the NORAD Tracks Santa programme which has a wealth of entertaining and brilliantly designed features on its website leading up to Christmas Eve. Then on December 24th the site is updated continuously and adjusted to work with the different time zones of the world. Santa Cam videos show realistic images of Santa Claus flying over famous landmarks as he heads towards your home.

Norad relies on volunteers to make the programme work and of course along with organising the wonderful website, it also has to handle emails and even telephone calls from modern technically able young children. Typically each volunteer handles around 40 calls per hour alone during the 24 hours leading up to Christmas night, to say nothing of thousands of emails from two hundred countries and territories.

Visit the following to discover the magic of Norad Santa Tracking.

But of course there comes a time when young grandchildren start to question this magical story, and often the grandparent can be the first port of call for a truthful answer. This can be a real dilemma for grandparents as no one wants to break that special trust with grandchildren. So to answer this, there are only really three real options:

  • Take them on your knee and say, well darling really it is all made up? In which case you may be responsible for them rushing off to yell at the younger siblings...Ha Ha, Father Christmas isn’t real, told you so.”

  • Fudge the issue by saying something on the lines of...well I haven’t actually seen him but I know a lot of people think he exists? In which case you may well be showered with more questions.

  • Go along with the make believe for a little longer and hope when the grandchild is older they will forgive you for that deception and the underlying trust being grandparent and young child won’t have been irretrievable broken?

It is a problem that hits many grandparents at this time of year because of the special relationship we play in families, and the child may often corner you when the parents aren’t around to help! There have been lots of ideas and tips over the years and indeed the Norad tracking page has some ideas.

Also this site can give some good ideas on how to address this problem and keep everyone happy.

But there are other tricky questions too…including the modern ones about the lack of a chimney and the fact that today many young children see lots of Santas in shopping areas and so on. The Huffington Post has addressed this problem and has some useful ideas for answers, including ideas about all Santa’s little helpers and how difficult it can sometimes be to tell who is a helper and who is the real Santa.

Having a few answers ready can ensure Christmas remains a magical time for grandparents as well as kids!

Back to LaterLife Interest Index

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this



Latest Articles:

Gene therapy - the future of our health

scientist in lab

Gene therapy is hugely exciting. Whether it will fulfil its promise and in future years produce terrific treatments for many health problems we don’t know but at the moment, although still in its early stages, the results are very encouraging.


Art Masterclass
Spring Flowers

Step by step guide to creating a beautiful spring flowers landscape.


Listen free to uplifting joyous birdsong

Turtle dove

It is great news that we can now all enjoy natural birdsong at any time of day and night thanks to a new birdsong audio that the RSPB have put together.


Win great prizes in our current Competitions

Silver Travel

Click here to visit the competitions page.

Article Archive

The LaterLife Article Archive provides a comprehensive list of links, to all the current regular article series' as well as quick links to older articles.
Back to LaterLife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on