Wednesday is Christmas Eve. I know I’m stating the obvious point here, but Wednesday’s the day that many people (myself included) will be tracking a certain jolly ol’ elf.

Beginning at 12:00 noon on Wednesday and through out the day, KOOL 107.9,  will broadcast updates of Santa Claus’ Christmas Eve trip.

The updates are provided by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), a service the organization has provided for almost 60 years.

Not many people know the full story of how NORAD started tracking Santa’s Christmas Eve trip, so here’s a shortened version of how everything fell into place.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa.

Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the Commander-in-Chief of Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD’s predecessor).

The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole.

Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created NORAD, which is a bi-national air defense command for North America, and the organization took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

If you’re doing that last minute shopping on Wednesday, or doing other last-minute items for Christmas, be sure to listen to KOOL 107.9 for NORAD’s updates on Santa.