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A lot of families have traditions around the Christmas holiday. From traveling to see extended family, or making a special meal, there are a lot of elaborate and also simple ways that families celebrate.

But some families have a more serious sounding traditions. Like watching the United States Government chase down Santa Claus across the globe.

Yes, that's true. The United States Government spends money every year to track Santa Claus across the world on Christmas Eve.

The team at the North American Aerospace Defense Command spends every year watching "The Jolly One" fly from one side of the globe to the other, and they share their findings with the world online. NORAD's Santa Tracker has becoming increasingly more popular every year.

This is a real thing, and it was born out of a mistake. According to History.com, the program began by accident in 1955 when a typo was made on a Santa phone number in Colorado.

The phone number was supposed to let kids speak with the Santa Claus at Sears store. But when a newspaper accidentally put one wrong digit in the number, it sent callers to the "red phone" inside NORAD. That line was reserved for high ranking officials to directly contact NORAD command for serious threats to the nation. So when the line started filling with kids trying to talk to Santa, the team inside NORAD acted fast.

They set up a system to handle the kids who were calling, and from that was born their Santa Tracking system. The program has grown so much over the last few decades, that it now has its own devoted team, and engages millions of people every year.

You can follow along for this year, right here.

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