Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | 11:44 PM
Like most kids, all I wanted to do on Christmas Eve was stay up and wait for Santa to arrive. One year, I went downstairs in the middle of the night and sat down in front of the Christmas tree to wait for Santa. Unfortunately, I soon fell asleep. When I awoke on Christmas morning the presents were under the tree and the milk and cookies I left out for Santa had been eaten. I had missed him. But next to the plate of crumbs, there was a note... from Santa himself! He thanked me for trying to wait up for him. I was so excited that I got a note from Santa that I forgot all about having fallen asleep and missing him. Every year after that I made sure to go to bed extra early to make sure that Santa stopped by.
This year, no one needs to go to bed early to make sure Santa comes over. Since NORAD is tracking Santa's journey around the world, you can find his current location on the 24th. If you see he's getting close by, just hop into bed. And if he's already passed by your house but you don't yet see presents (or coal!) under the tree, rest assured he'll be looping back once you're asleep. Read more about how NORAD tracks Santa on our Official Google Blog.
To make following Santa's journey even easier, you can find him on your phone too. Make sure you have Google Maps for mobile (available for most phones). Then just search! Just as you'd put in a query for "pizza" to find pizza places, or "San Antonio" to find it on a map, you can search for "Santa" to find where he is at the time. This way, you can stay up to date whether you're lounging by the fire at a ski lodge, stuck in traffic en route to Grandma's (get your kids to look it up for you!), or at the dinner table. To get started, go to m.noradsanta.org on your mobile phone, or just search for "Santa" in Google Maps for mobile on December 24th.
Matt Aldridge, Mobile Elf