A parental guide to tracking Santa this Saturday night

  • By Jeff Kwit
  • JK726@webtv.net
  • December 20, 2005 @ 12:53 PM
When most of us were kids, we breathlessly awaited the weather forecaster's Christmas Eve report telling us that Santa Claus was on the way. Weathermen still do that these days but telling us there is a 60% chance of Santa by morning just doesn't cut it. Today's children don't have to take a forecaster or a parent's word for this Christmas miracle.They need only switch on the computer to get verification that Santa is indeed coming to town. Previously if you wanted to see Vixen on Christmas Eve you would have to rent an Angelina Joile movie. But today It is easier to spot the reindeer and Santa than Dick Cheney. A few moves of the mouse this Saturday will enable you to witness the wide eyed wonder in your child's eyes so synonymous with Christmas Eve. Here are some of the best places in cyberspace to track Santa as he goes about his business this weekend. 'TIS THE SEASON holidays.dodgeglobe.com/tracker Upon arrival you'll note the banner picturing a Santa that Martha Stewart would love. Everything very conservative and proper...wonderful lighting,good fabric, a guy who looks like he's never seen the inside of a chimney. You'll need a macromedia flash player to experience this site which promises hourly updates on all of Santa's activities from Dec.22-Dec.24 as well as his Christmas Eve exploits. The guy can forget about having any privacy. This page took longer to load than a showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" but it gets the jump on other trackers by starting December 22. Christmas after all, is anticipation. SANTA SPOTTER www.claus.com Claus.com is billed as "the merriest place in cyberspace" and indeed is the online equivalent of the old "Santa's Village" in Dundee,Illinois.You can spend hours clicking on various Santa related attractions but we'll concentrate on the "Santa Spotter." Here you get a colorful cartoon peek inside the sleigh's "cockpit"....As a child,did you even consider that the sleigh had one of these? We see digital readouts of how many miles Santa has traveled,his current altitude,how many children are still awake,even a device showing how many cookies Santa has consumed (on loan from Kirstie Alley?) which will doubtlessly cause the Mrs. to give him a health club gift certificate for 2006. There are warning lights to tell Santa a child is still awake and that the chimney is hot. You can click on hourly updates to find out where Santa is in relation to your home,as well as reading Santa authored accounts of the foreign countries he has visited thus far. It's all imaginative,good fun and can keep a kid mesmerized right up until bedtime,which the site also encourages.This helps make it a parent's best friend on Christmas Eve. SANTASPEAKING.COM www.santaspeaking.com Speaking of imaginative,here is a wonderful website that also features "North Pole Gossiper","North Pole Weather"."Cookin With Claus" and "The Santa Shop Network." You might call it up for the kids, but wind up checking it out for your own enjoyment when they're not around. At 12:01 PM on Christmas Eve,your kids (and you) can watch Santa's departure from The North Pole on a "state of the art" Santa tracker.It's nice to see a guy who has more to do on Christmas Eve than you do. "Follow him from the time the reindeer first leap into the air all the way until he's in your neighborhood". It's the ultimate Christmas (non) reality show as elves have positioned cameras all over the world "to watch his every move." ...to make sure he doesn't park on the tracks in Elmwood Park,no doubt. And,this is the only site we saw that featured Santa's Blog. It had to happen. From nog to blog,Santa has gone high tech. You'll need a Windows Media Player to enjoy all the benefits but it is worth the effort. NORAD SANTA TRACKER www.northpole.com/NoradSanta.asp Welcome to the major leagues of Santa tracking.The same agency that watches for missiles and unidentified flying objects and perhaps "King Kong" uses all it's resources to track the jolly old elf every Christmas Eve. You can click on any of 6 languages to join in the search. It began 50 years ago this Christmas Eve when a Colorado based Sears store misprinted a phone number that was to allow kids to speak with Santa.Instead,they were connected with Col. Harry Shoup,commander in chief of the Continental Air Defense Command NORAD's predecessor) who took the call,and an idea was born. Four high tech systems are used by NORAD...radar,satellites,Santa cams and (gulp) jetfighters. A tracker toolbox allows you to print out maps to help you follow Santa's journey through the night. You can see pictures of him as he passes some of the world's great landmarks. And it's Christmas for B list celebrities too,as Dick Van Patten,Mickey Rooney,Kevin Eubanks,Patrick ("Puddy") Warburton,Tony Orlando and Kathy Griffin salute NORAD's pursuit of Santa . This site should be a Christmas Eve tradition for your 21st Century family. When you look in the sky this Christmas Eve,you're likely to see more than programmable remotes people have tossed out the window after getting them as gifts.You may,after seeing the computerized proof,believe what Virginia was told all those years ago. There is a Cyber Claus. JEFF KWIT 2509 Newland Chicago,Il.60707 (773)637-3074 published and unpublished material by Jeff Kwit: community.webtv.net/JK726/BYJEFFKWITA