UK & World News

  • 25 December 2013, 16:41

Michelle Obama Helps Kids Track Santa By Phone

Michelle Obama has taken calls from children eagerly checking the progress of Santa's sleigh as he delivers presents around the world.

The First Lady volunteered for the traditional North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) Tracks Santa programme and wished callers a Merry Christmas.

"I see his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer and he is over Sudan - South Sudan. That's in Africa," she told a girl named Ella.

"And right now, he's delivering some gifts. He's going down, swooping down to some little kids who are in South Sudan, OK? That's where he is right now. It's really, really very cool, don't you think?"

Mrs Obama took the calls in the President's home state of Hawaii, where the family are spending their Christmas holiday.

The Norad programme started when department store Sears Roebuck & Co advertised its Santa hotline in a magazine in 1955.

"Hey Kiddies, call me direct on my telephone," said the ad, below which was printed the wrong phone number.

Rather than getting through to the shop, children dialled America's Continental Air Defence Command, which later became Norad.

Instead of telling callers they had the wrong number, Colonel Harry Shoup told staff to check their radar screens and provide children with an update on Santa's location.

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