NORAD tracker 2021 follows Santa’s sleigh as it flies over the UK on Christmas

Christmas is a magical time, with presents under the tree and childrens' eyes lit up with wonder at the thought of catching a glimpse of Santa.

For many, tracking Father Christmas only goes as far as taking a step outside on Christmas Eve and listening for the faint jingle of sleigh bells.

But NASA has provided a more technologically advanced solution.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) provides a Santa tracker to help children – and anyone else – keep an eye on the big man's progress.

Read on for all the information you need about how to track Father Christmas's progress as he makes his way around the world's chimneys.

How to track Santa through NORAD

Run jointly by the USA and Canada, the organisation usually monitors space for nuclear missiles. When Christmas comes around they stop monitoring weapons of mass destruction and start monitoring a fat man in a sleigh instead.

They open up the website to track St Nick on December 1 each year, receiving nearly 900 million unique visitors from over 200 countries each year.

They provide a sleigh load of games and activities, videos, music and stories for kids to get their teeth into in the run-up to Christmas, but it isn't until December 24 that the site's main function comes into play.

On Christmas Eve the Santa tracker whirls into motion, allowing people to track him as he whizzes around the world delivering presents to all who deserve them.

1,500 volunteers also help out, responding to emails and taking over 140,000 calls providing vital updates about the current location of the reindeer train.

How to track Santa on Google

NASA aren't the only ones with Santa tracking technology, with global mega-brand Google also expanding its services to help monitor the world's best-known flyer.

They created a Santa tracker website consisting of a range of games and educational content for kids and parents to get their teeth into. Users can tune into North Pole Newscast through Google Assistants and even call Santa.

They too start tracking on Christmas Eve with users able to keep an eye on him on a tablet, mobile and desktop.

What is Santa's route?

Santa visits 390,000 homes per minute and gives presents to all who are hoping for them, starting in the South Pacific before travelling west hitting New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

He then moves into Asia, Africa and Western Europe before wrapping the night up via Canada, the US, Mexico and South America.

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