NORADSanta.org, hear my suggestion!!
NORAD Santa, (an explanation for my Kiwi friends), is an organisation that has spent the last 50 years tracking Santa’s flight from the North Pole. They are volunteers. They answer emails and phone calls, and in the past they announced Santa’s position at regular intervals on radio and TV on Christmas Eve.
Since I’ve moved to New Zealand, I’ve noticed a grave omission and error on NORAD’s part. And I’d really love it if they would hear my suggestion and take it to heart. I love what they do, and I think they can make it even better.
Here’s the thing: According to NORAD Santa, Santa’s flight does not start until Midnight, Christmas Eve, Eastern Standard Time. But that is an error and misrepresentation. It starts at Midnight, Christmas Eve, New Zealand Daylight Time. You read that right. Santa starts delivering presents in New Zealand first, a whole day ahead of the time stated at NORAD Santa.
Santa has been and gone in our part of the world before NORAD Santa starts tracking him. They say he arrives in New Zealand a whole day later than he does!!
I think that our children would understand Santa’s ability to deliver presents in one night if this was better explained. Santa does not have 4-5 hours to deliver presents. He has a whole day.
Think of the learning opportunities that could be provided by NORAD Santa… first, the existence and differences between the time zones. Track Santa through the whole night – increase the anticipation right through Christmas Eve in the US and Canada.
Second, the cultural differences. Did you know that Santa comes to New Zealand in a red tractor pulled by romney sheep? In Australia he’s pulled by white kangaroos. Not to mention that Santa doesn’t wear his full red suit when he comes to our tropical and summery countries (It’s only winter for half of the world, you know!!).
Here’s another reason why this is a good idea… ex-pat American and Canadian children living overseas. Maybe they’re old enough to have tracked Santa on NORAD Santa the year before. Imagine their confusion when they check in on their Christmas Eve to find Santa’s not leaving for another day! And then the further confusion when NORAD Santa says Santa’s still at the North Pole, packing, when the child can clearly see the gifts Santa has left them under the tree during the night.
NORAD Santa has the opportunity to show further differences as well. There could be a section in there stating that per tradition, he visits the following countries on 5th and 6th December, instead: the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders (Lille), Artois (Arras), parts of South Africa, Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Indonesia.
What I’m trying to say is that NORAD Santa does great work. I know they’re volunteers. And I think they can improve their Santa Tracking multi-fold using the points I’ve covered above.
First, start tracking when Santa really leaves – New Zealand Daylight Time.
Second, Santa doesn’t wear the same outfit or have reindeer pulling his vehicle in all parts of the world.
Third, it’s winter for only half the world – for the rest of us, it’s summer!!
Fourth, acknowledge that Santa has already visited other places in the world as per their traditions.
I promise this will make sense to the children. As a matter of fact, it will answer a lot of their questions and make the whole thing much more realistic. And it will cut out a TON of confusion for ex-pat American and Canadian children.
I’m going to send this post in an email to NORAD Santa. If you agree with me, please, email them too. Nicely. Remember, Santa’s watching you!! 😉