Dec 28, 2012 1:36 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Christmas Eve was a particularly busy time for volunteers with the NORAD Tracks Santa Program. During a 23 hour period, the operations center answered over 114,000 calls from children looking for Santa Claus, an increase of more than 12,000 from last year.
The group also received nearly 11,000 email and the website noradsanta.org also registered 22,300,000 unique visitors from 235 countries and territories around the world during the month of December, a 19 percent increase.
The official NORAD Tracks Santa Facebook page now has over 1.2 million fans and Twitter account has 129,000 followers. Captain Jeff Davis, Director of Public Affairs for NORAD says demand for tracking Santa has grown with technology
"It's a big job, and we can't do it alone, but the holidays have always been a time for bringing people together," Davis said. "With the help of our industry partners and friends in Canada, the tradition that started as a mistake has lived on again this year. "
The mistake was a misprinted ad in a local newspaper in 1955 encouraging children to call Santa Claus. However, the phone number listed was actually a direct line into NORAD.
Among the volunteers answering calls this year was First Lady Michelle Obama who answered calls from Hawaii.